A CONVICTED fraudster has been told to cough up nearly £19,000 — or go back to jail.

Nathan Smith, aged 25, lived in Stott Wharf, Leigh, when police became aware of his complex scam, which raked in £42,167.

Smith, who also uses the name David Jones, is a computer expert and set up fake internet companies so he could get hold of people’s credit card details.

He used the details to buy electrical goods, holidays and other items and then sold them on.

Finally, Smith laundered his ill-gotten gains by putting the cash in a government-approved deposit scheme, before filtering it into his own accounts.

Police became aware of the scam and arrested Smith at his Leigh home.

At the start of last year, Smith — now of Ryecroft, Whitefield — was jailed for 15 months at Liverpool Crown Court after admitting fraud and money laundering.

Afterwards, forensic accountants trawled through Smith’s records and, at a further hearing on April 7, Smith was told to pay back £18.915 by October or go back to prison.

If Smith misses the deadline, the courts could also confiscate his possessions, such as high-value electrical goods, a Vauxhall Vectra and cash.

After the latest hearing, financial Investigator Frances Shedwick said: “Those who think they can profit from their criminal activities and get away with it should think again.

“We have again proven that a criminal investigation is not the end of a matter and we will conduct thorough financial investigations into those who benefit from crime to take their assets and return money to the victims.”