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Saturday, 1 August 2015

Teenage fraudster jailed for swindling 6 people of £110,000

A teenager Sam Cook who swindled 6 people, dressed up as a judge in a mocking photograph after pleading guilty to swindling more than £100,000 has been jailed.
Sam Cook had boasted of turning a £2,000 investment into £21million to convince his parents' friends and business associates to hand over their life savings, a court heard.
Instead he pocketed the cash and used it to fund a lavish lifestyle which included a swanky waterside flat in Plymouth, Devon, a 'Ferrari' and expensive holidays.
He was only caught after police noticed his £165,000 supercar was in fact a fake.
  He was jailed yesterday for more than two years after he admitted swindling £110,000 from six victims.
He had also pleaded guilty to driving without an 'L' plate while holding a provisional licence, at a time where he said he was driving his Ferrari.
But the judge warned that clams the 18-year-old was remorseful were belied by a mocking photograph which was posted on Facebook following his guilty plea.
With his Dad
The court was shown a picture of Cook and his father dressed up as a judge and a police officer.
'I hear today that you accept responsibility and that you are remorseful,' the judge told Cook.

'I have to tell you that that is not mirrored by this photograph. You should be ashamed of that photograph.'
In his defence, Michael Green said Cook 'deeply regrets' taking the image.
'He wasn't responsible for bringing the props or the photo booth, and was unaware that the photo would be shared online,' he added.
Detectives began investigating after an interview with Cook appeared in his local newspaper where he claimed to be a self-made, multi-millionaire.
Prosecuting, Kelly Scrivener said Detective Constable Dan Parkinson, of Devon and Cornwall Police, spotted the article entitled 'Meet the Plymouth teenager who turned £2,000 into £21 million in a year and still shops in Lidl' which showed off Cook's 'Ferrari'.
The teenager, who has dyslexia and left school with 2 GCSEs, claimed he had bought a £165,000 Ferrari F430 Scuderia, a £120,000 watch and holidayed in Barbados, saying: 'I want to have £2billion by the time I am 50'.
But when the officer researched the car and discovered it was in fact a £20,000 replica.
'The officer was concerned from the way the article portrayed the defendant that he was putting himself out to be somebody who had made a lot of money by investing in the stock market,' Ms Scrivener said.
'It amounted to an advert for people to approach him. The officer found at least six people who had invested £110,000 of their life savings and earnings.
'They parted with the money under the false impression they were making a legal financial investment with this defendant on the stock market.
'The defendant had been introduced to them by his parents. He provided them with paperwork.'
The court heard that Cook had presented himself as a successful investor and promised to invest his clients’ money into stocks and currency in an attempt to earn them more money.
Ms Scrivener added: 'He had a lavish lifestyle, he had what he said was a Ferrari that he was driving around in.
'They had no reason to disbelieve his assurances that he was legally investing their money.
'He said he had successfully amassed a fortune personally by doing so.'
'It is plain to me that this company that you set up was fraudulent from the outset. You used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle,' he said.
'You had an expensive flat, you had an expensive car - albeit it wasn't a genuine Ferrari.
'You used money that was not yours to have overseas holidays and to present yourself and represent yourself as a man of wealth and success to induce people into trusting you.'
'You are aware of the impact of your fraud on people who were friends and associates both of yourself and your family.'
Cook took £15,000 from his first victim, £35,000 from his second and £6,200 from his third - a woman who was saving to replace her car.

His 4th victim paid £5,000 to Cook after borrowing from family and friends, while his fifth victim also paid £5,000.
The 6th victim paid a total of £50,000 to Cook and had been left extremely 'stressed' following the deception, Ms Scrivener said.
After admitting the fraud to police, Cook told officers: 'This has had a big effect on my family and completely ruined my chances of getting a job in finance'.
Representing Cook, Mr Green said his client's father was already taking steps to repay the money to the victims.
'Whatever the impact, each thought they were undertaking in a business opportunity which involved some degree of risk.
'It was a bogus company, it was a bogus investment. It was inevitable that this would come to light, and so it did.'
He said the teenager, who lives with his wife at his parents' home, wished to work so he could begin paying his father back.
'This was a 17-year-old suddenly finding himself with a large amount of money in his bank account and he gave in to temptation,' Mr Green said. 
Cook was visibly pale and shaking as he was sentenced to 26 months in prison.
Appearing in court in a sharp blue suit with a yellow shirt and red tie, comforted by occasional glances of his father Peter at the back of the court, as the case was read out to him.
A Proceeds of Crime hearing will take place at a later date to recover money taken by Cook.

Source: +Daily Mail 

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