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February 23, 2015

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BURFORD:BUSINESSMAN DENIES STEALING £12M FROM HIS INVESTMENT FIRM

TURKDEAN, GLOUCESTERSHIRE A controversial businessman today (MON) denied stealing £12m from his own company to fund his extravagant lifestyle. Adrian Burford, 52, allegedly stole £12,434,414 from private equity investment firm Fern Advisors, on which he sat as an executive director. Burford, the former owner of Broadwell Manor and its magnificent 50-acre estate in Gloucestershire, is also accused of a host of fraud and forgery offences. According to court records, he has been reduced to living in a a pretty Cotswold cottage, which also functions as a bed-and-breakfast.
  February 23, 2015

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REZA:DEAF RINGLEADER OF DISABILITY CON SOBS AS GETS NINE YEARS

PERIVALE, WEST LONDON The profoundly deaf ringleader of an £800,000 disability allowance scam wept as he was jailed for nine years today (MON). Shahab Reza, 52, used the cash intended for society's most vulnerable to fund a lavish lifestyle of holidays across the globe and jewellery. He persuaded his wife, daughter and son to take part in his crimes by submitting fake invoices for sign language interpreters. Cash was splurged on a luxury home, a £600,000 penthouse, gold jewellery, an £8,000 'flawless' diamond, a holiday to Dubai and a 'student jolly' to America.
 
February 23, 2015

BIRDI:CLEANER ABDUCTED TWO GIRLS TO NORTH OF ENGLAND

ILFORD, ESSEX A cleaner abducted two youngsters and ran away with them to Manchester, a court heard today (MON). Anita Birdi, 19, allegedly coaxed the girls, were under the age of 16 at the time, away from their carers in east London last November. A police search was launched and the missing pair were eventually tracked down in Manchester, it is said. Birdi pleaded not guilty to two charges of child abduction at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
  February 23, 2015

POTTER:MOVE PRODUCER DENIES MOVIE TAX SCAN

MANCHESTER; HAMPSTEAD, NORTH LONDON A film producer today (MON) denied plotting to defraud the taxpayer out of millions of pounds by declaring fictitious losses. Terence Potter, 55, is said to have tried to claim tax relief on the fictitious losses of two film companies, Southwark Crown Court heard. The false declarations, emanating from Edinburgh and Walsh LLP and Jenkins and Hyde and Maclellan LLP, amounted to approximately approximately £5.8m, it is alleged. Today (MON), Potter appeared in the dock to deny four charges of conspiracy to cheat and was chastised for missing a previous hearing.
 
February 23, 2015

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KHOURY: FRAUDSTER TRIED TO SELL SOMEONE ELSE'S HOME

BAYSWATER, HYDE PARK, CENTRAL LONDON, CROYDON, HACKNEY A fraudster has admitted trying to flog a house near Hyde Park for £1million from under its owner's nose. Benjamin Khoury, 26, attempted to sell 6 Clarendon Mews, in Bayswater, west London for the astronomical sum in November last year despite having no legal right to the home. Khoury, who wore a black suit and white open-necked shirt in the dock at Southwark Crown Court, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud. Co-accused Tamara Pacskowska, 56, and Monika Brzezinska, 28, both deny the charge.
  February 20, 2015

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RAHMAN: 'ELECTION FRAUD? THEY'RE JUST SORE LOSERS' SAYS MAYOR

TOWER HAMLETS Embattled Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman branded those who accuse him of electoral fraud as ‘sore losers’ at the High Court today (Fri). The 49-year-old, is being investigated after local campaigners compiled a vast dossier of evidence showing his re-election was rigged. Rahman won the poll, held on 22 May last year, with 51.8% of the vote, after forming his own party, Tower Hamlets First, having been dropped by Labour. Four residents, Andrew Erlam, Debbie Simone, Azmal Hussein and Angela Moffat, hope to prove the election was rigged, after being granted a rare electoral trial. But Rahman today claimed his detractors are unfairly criticising an election he won ‘fair and square’.
 
February 20, 2015

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MATTHEWS: SON SPARED JAIL FOR NEGLECTING MOTHER WHILE SPENDING HER PENSION

BROOME A callous son who left his elderly mother wallowing in her own filth while he spent her pension on himself was spared jail today after the court was told stopping him going to the pub would be enough punishment (FRI). Brian Matthews, 75, left Winifred Matthews, now 98, without hot water, central heating, a telephone or even a working toilet even though he was her legal guardian. The floors of her home Cranham, Upminster, were coated in urine and excrement, as was her bedding, and she had started using torn newspaper as toilet roll. Matthews escaped with a two-year sentence suspended for two years after being convicted of two counts of fraud for spending his mother’s pensions and savings on himself and while spending next to nothing on her.
  February 19, 2015

STOCK: DISAPPEARING TEACHER SET UP FAKE WEBSITE

LUCTON, HERTS A vanishing teacher who set up a fake school website and forged her headteacher's email address as part of a job application has been banned from the profession. Rebecca Stock, 28, disappeared from Lucton School, Lucton, Herefordshire, on 7 February 2013 after taking a day off to attend a medical appointment. A year later Sacred Heart School in Hammersmith contacted Lucton School to follow up a reference they had received on behalf of the reappearing PE teacher, who was looking for a job. Stock had created a fake school website alleging to be Lucton School, going so far as to purchase the user domain, the National College for Teaching and Leadership heard.
 
February 19, 2015

SAUNDERS:SCRAP METAL MERCHANT STOLE £1000 FROM BLIND MAN

ROMFORD, ESSEX A scrap metal merchant accused of stealing £1000 from a blind man has been remanded in custody. Joe Saunders, 51, allegedly targeted the man, in his 50s, at his home in Romford, Essex, after claiming he had come to service his boiler on 10 November last year. Father of three Saunders, of (17) Long Lane, Greys, Essex, is charged with burglary and fraud by false representation. He appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court via video link and spoke only to confirm his name.
  February 18, 2015

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BENSTEAD:ALLEGED FRAUDSTER BLEW £36,000 ON LUXURY CRUISE

GLASTONBURY, SOMERSET; PENZANCE, CORNWALL The director of a company that left 12,500 'ordinary people' £19.5m out of pocket insisted he lived 'modestly' while splurging £36,000 on a luxury cruise, a court heard today (weds). Directors Peter Benstead, 72, and Edward James, 75, the ex-Mayor of Glastonbury, were running Cornwall-based Crown Currency Exchange when it collapsed in 2010. Benstead, who was disqualified from acting as a company director in 1997 for seven years, 'spewed out business ideas on a regular basis' and 'appeared to relish the gamble' to make a 'quick profit', it was said. One of his scams was to charge would-be contestants £30 to audition for a non-existent reality show on a Carribean island.
 
February 18, 2015

O'NEAL:FRAUDSTER CLAIMED WORK MADE HER ANKLES SWELL

ROMFORD, ESSEX A fraudster claimed she turned to crime because doing any sort of work makes her hands and ankles swell, a court heard. Jean O'Neal, 50, wrote a series of dodgy cheques to businesses in Romford, Essex, to buy clothes, perfume and even a new set of net curtains. She bought herself a new pair of net curtains from Colin Underwood's business Anco Blinds and Windows worth £157.70 with a cheque on 19 June 2013. Even though the cheque bounced, O'Neal returned three days later while Mr Underwood was on holiday to buy more soft furnishings worth £95.92.
  February 18, 2015

OLANIREGUN: CARD SWINDLE STANK OF PERFUME FRAUD

HACKNEY A fraudster was caught trying to use a bogus store gift card to make off with over £300 of perfume, a court heard. Joseph Olaniregun walked into House of Fraser on Oxford Street, central London, and tried to pay for several bottles of expensive fragrance with the fake card. The 40-year-old turned on his heels and fled after beauty-counter assistants discovered the card - which Olaniregun claimed had £500 on it - was a fake. Westminster Magistrates' Court heard security staff gave chase and caught the defendant outside the shop, following the incident on November 18 last year and called the police.

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