Conmen Are Convincing - But a Good Lawyer Can Help You Spot Them
Professional conmen tend to be convincing and, no matter how good an investment opportunity may appear, it is always wise to seek professional advice before putting your hand in your pocket, as shown by one case in which four trusting individuals lost more than £100,000 to a believable confidence trickster.
The man had been introduced to his victims by a mutual friend. He claimed to have inherited a fortune from his father and put forward various bogus explanations as to why he needed immediate cash injections in order to access the money. He had previously served a six-year jail term for a £400,000 fraud and a professional background check would swiftly have revealed the truth about him.
One victim, a pensioner, was promised help in purchasing a new home and gave the man £60,000, almost the entirety of his life savings. A woman who was recovering from cancer was conned out of £20,000. After one of his victims raised the alarm, the man pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud and was jailed for eight years. The Court of Appeal has since cut that sentence to six years and eight months, principally on the basis that he had been given insufficient credit for his guilty pleas.
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