Two fraudsters who targeted British investors with fake shares have been jailed for a total of five years after an investigation by the City Of London Police.
A 32 year old male from Bogatar, Columbia and a 36 year old female from San Jose, Costa Rica were jailed after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to money launder.
The pair had set up a ‘boiler room’ in Spain to run the fraudulent activity from. They would cold-call British residents to sell stocks and shares with the promise of high returns on an initial investment. But the shares were worthless, with the pair looking to pocket the money to fund a ‘champagne’ lifestyle.
The fraudsters took £300,000 from 25 victims in just three months, using high-pressure sales techniques and targeting elderly and vulnerable investors.The pair allegedly claimed to be selling Anheuser Busch Investment Bonds, Medusa Mining Shares and Burberry Group shares, among others.
The City Of London Police became aware after intelligence linked them to investment fraud, and highlighted the lavish lifestyle they enjoyed, despite no obvious source of legitimate income. The case saw Criminal Justice partners from around the world working together to bring these fraudsters before the court.
DI James Clancey, who led the investigation, said: “These fraudsters lived the high-life in Spain, and no doubt felt insulated from both the plight of their victims and any police investigations. That assumption proved badly misplaced. Not only were police aware of their crime, but officers were building up a clear picture of their deceit, ensuring the pair traded tapas bars for prison bars.
“By intercepting the so-called investments before they reached the fraudsters, police will now be able to return the money to the victims. Sadly this type of happy ending is an exception to the rule, and anyone tempted to invest in shares offered by cold-callers should be under no illusion that they will likely never see their money again.”
For further information visit the City Of London Police website.
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