A Ribble Valley man who ran a brothel in Salford that masqueraded as a gentleman's club has been ordered to pay back nearly £750,000 of his ill-gotten gains.

John Williams Burrows, 63, of Hough Clough Lane, Chipping, pleaded guilty to managing a brothel in July 2009 and was sentenced to a 10-month sentence suspended for 18 months.

Following numerous complaints that a health studio called the World Famous Babes Gentleman's Club on Worsley Road, Swinton, was being used as a brothel, officers raided the premises in June 2007.

During the raid, officers discovered two men engaged in sexual acts with women who were working as prostitutes.

A search of the club by officers also revealed further evidence it was being used as a brothel, including numerous condoms, used and unused, and sex toys.

Since the sentencing specialist financial investigators at the North West Regional Asset Recovery Team, part of the Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU), have examined all of Burrows' business dealings.

At a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing, heard at Minshull Street Crown Court yesterday, Burrows was ordered to pay back £742,759.83.

He must repay that sum within six months or be jailed for four years, after which he would still owe the money.

He could be forced to sell his assets and hand over his savings to meet the POCA ruling.

Steve Taylor, Senior Financial Investigator at the NW Regional Asset Recovery Team, said: "This result sends a powerful message to the people of Salford - we will take decisive action if we have evidence a brothel is being run.

"Brothels are a blight on our communities and we fully understand the concerns of residents who live in or near areas affected by the illegal sex industry.

"Burrows enjoyed a lavish lifestyle from the exploitation of young women.

"He has a property portfolio that will now have to be sold to fund this repayment.

"The message should be clear, with the collaboration of the North West Forces under ROCU, we will continue to target those criminals who commit serious offences, and who profit from such offences, that cross Force boundaries."

Salford Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan, said: "This shows that anyone who profits from criminal acts will be pursued through the courts and we will do everything in our power to seize their assets."