TWO brothers responsible for a £300,000 "campaign of fraud" against farmers and an antiques dealer were today jailed for 12 and a half years. Irish traveller Hughie Collins, 46, and his sibling Terry Collins, 34, conned their victims out of hundreds of thousands of pounds by promising them agriculture equipment and a profitable stake in furniture, a court heard. Their "trusting" victims kept handing over money but never saw the goods, Cardiff Crown Court heard. Police eventually stopped the brothers on an industrial estate in Blaenavon, the court heard today. Ringleader Hughie Collins was responsible for a fraud totalling around £306,000 and Terry Collins for one amounting to £221,000. They acted together in perpetrating some of the fraud. The brothers also tried to cover their tracks by destroying and fabricating evidence by making phone calls while on remand, the court heard. Judge Neil Bidder QC said: "They are two horribly dishonest men. "They were not desperate. They simply couldn't restrain themselves from being dishonest. "These were serious, callous and very harmful fraud on very trusting Individuals." One farming family was based in Northern Ireland, another in Holywell, north Wales and they also targeted the English antiques dealer Lord Vincent Constantine over three years. The brothers left tools with their victims as security for initial payments in order to gain their trust, prosecutor David Elias said. Some of their victims were so embarrassed about the scam they were initially reluctant to make formal complaints, Mr Elias said. It not only affected their finances but also their health and put a strain on their relationships, the court heard. Around £200,000 is set to be returned to the victims, the court was told. A 17-year-old boy from Ireland was also implicated in the scam and spent five months on remand. His fraud was said to have amounted to around £35,000. He pleaded guilty to one count of fraud. Judge Bidder released him from custody and gave him an 18-month youth rehabilitation order including supervision and 40 hours unpaid work. The trio initially denied the charges against them but changed their pleas to guilty four days into a trial. The court heard in mitigation the Collins brothers had been in debt and felt themselves in a place with no escape, no money and were desperate. Hughie Collins, of no fixed abode, was jailed for a total of six years and nine months. He received six years for one count of removing criminal property, three years for a count of fraud, three years for another charge of fraud, four years for another charge of fraud, three years for one charge of concealing criminal property, five years for one charge of transferring criminal property, all to run concurrently, plus nine months for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, to run consecutively. Terry Collins, of Church Street in Britton Ferry, was jailed for a total of five years and nine months. He received five years for one count of fraud, three years for another charge of fraud to run concurrently plus nine months for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice to run consecutively. Judge Bidder also ordered the two brothers that they pay £120 surcharges. After the sentence, Gwent Police financial investigator John Price said: “Through detailed financial investigations and old fashioned police work we have uncovered how they operated and have also uncovered assets they have attempted to hide. A number of high value properties in Ireland, a number of luxury vehicles, items of jewellery and cash have all been identified frozen and retained by Gwent Police. These assets will now be the subject of proceedings for confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act and a hearing will take place later this year where it’s hoped that the victims will recoup their losses. He also issued a warning to the public. “We would urge the public to be aware of scams like the ones committed by Hughie and Terence Collins. If you believe you have been the victim of a similar scam or fraud please contact the police to discuss your concerns. "We would also urge residents to look out for elderly or vulnerable family members or friends to make sure that they are not targeted by fraudsters who have no qualms about targeting vulnerable people. Whilst this investigation has resulted in justice being served there will be others who operate similar scams and get away with it. Anyone who has information about these criminals should contact the police or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If we are given the information we can take action.”