Gang sentenced for defrauding vulnerable victims

A gang has been sentenced for defrauding vulnerable and elderly people

A gang has been sentenced for defrauding vulnerable and elderly people

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A GANG of ‘heartless’ fraudsters, whose victims included vulnerable and elderly people in Worthing, Lancing, Southwick and Littlehampton, have been sentenced.

Thirteen people were sentenced at Hove Crown Court yesterday and today. Five received a total of 22 years imprisonment, over a series of frauds worth more than £250,000 in 2011, in which elderly and vulnerable victims in Sussex, Surrey, and South and East London, were conned after being told drains at their homes needed repairing as they were affecting neighbours’ properties.

Two of the defendants were found guilty on October 6 after a trial.

Kelly Ann Robinson, 20, of Albany Road, Pilgrims Hatch, Essex, was convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering. She was sentenced to a total of two and a half years; Carly Hodges, 32, of Lucerne Way, Romford, was convicted of money laundering. She was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and was given a 12 month supervision order.

The other eleven people had pleaded guilty at earlier hearings.

James Ward, 29, of Twin Willows, Pleshey, Essex, pleaded guilty to two offences of conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He was sentenced to a total of eight years – five years for fraud and three years for money laundering. He was also sentenced to prison for burglaries and bail offences to run concurrently with the fraud and money laundering offences; Wayne Smith, 32, of St Vincents Close, Girton, Cambridge, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He was sentenced to a total of eight years - five years for fraud and three years for money laundering;Rebecca Clarke, 35, of Thorney Bay Road, Canvey Island, Essex, pleaded Guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. She was sentenced to a total of two years;Lauren Flanders, 31, of Petersfield Avenue, Romford, pleaded guilty to two offences of money laundering and one offence of attempted money laundering. She was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment suspended for two years, and was also given a supervision order and ordered to carry out 160 hours unpaid work; Stacey Robinson, 29, of Philip Close, Pilgrims Hatch, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. She was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment;Cassandra Knight, 36, of Britannia Road, Warley, Brentwood, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit three offences of money laundering. She was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment suspended for two years, and was given a supervision order for two years; Kerry Corcoran, 29, of Marlow Road, London, pleaded guilty to attempted money laundering. She was sentenced to a 12 month community order and ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work; Ronald Buttery, 46, of Ellen Wilkinson House, Usk Street, London, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and attempted money laundering. He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work;Terry Phillips, 56, of Wolsey Avenue, London, pleaded guilty to one offence of money laundering. He was sentenced to six months for money laundering, suspended for two years, and was ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work; Daniel Atkins, 30, of Dunedin Road, Rainham, Essex, pleaded guilty to two offences of money laundering. He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 160 hours unpaid work; Bobby Latham, 26, of Turpin Avenue, Romford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to one offence of money laundering. He was sentenced to nine months imprisonment suspended for two years, and was given a 12-month supervision order and ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work; Danielle Philpott, 22, of Manor Park, London, who has pleaded guilty to one offence of money laundering, will be sentenced on December 22.

Detective Inspector Mick Richards said: “Ward and Smith were the ringleaders of this heartless conspiracy to defraud trusting and often vulnerable people in their own homes.

“The victims were carefully selected and targeted on the basis of their vulnerability. Typically they were elderly householders who lived alone.”

Serious Crime Prevention Orders (SCPO) for Ward and Smith have been applied for which would have the effect of severely restricting their access to mobile phones, bank accounts, vehicles and cash. Details will be finalised at a further court hearing on 31 March next year.