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Two of them - Farouk Dougui, 39, from London, and Jabey Alan Bathurst, 23, from Middlesex - had been convicted on February 15 of conspiracy to defraud between May and November 2010 after a  complex, six-week trial at Isleworth Crown Court in West London.

Simohamed Rahmoun, 30, pleaded guilty to his part in the conspiracy during the trial. On Monday, June 3, also at Isleworth Crown Court, Rahmoun was jailed for six years, Dougui for five years two months and Bathurst for four years.

Forty-three firms across the UK were targeted in total, mostly salerooms.