Eight convicted for 'boiler room' scams across East of England
PUBLISHED: 19:24 08 April 2019 | UPDATED: 19:24 08 April 2019
Eight people from the East of England - including one from Suffolk - have been convicted of running a number of ‘boiler room’ frauds which saw elderly and vulnerable people conned out of millions of pounds.
The group ran an elaborate scam from 2014 until 2016, conning more than 50 people out of £3 million by convincing them to invest in fake investment companies.
In particular they would target elderly and often vulnerable individuals, with some people being scammed by the group more than once.
After a number of concerned victims contacted police, an investigation was launched by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).
The first trial in relation to the case saw Barry Spearing, 58, of Stutton Hall, Stutton, Suffolk, convicted of money laundering and Muhammad Tanveer, 30, of South Street, Romford, convicted of fraud and money laundering offences.
Shaun Cross, 30, of Clifton Close, Orpington, and Ryan Weston, 27, of Clarkson Avenue, Wisbech, pleaded guilty to money laundering in a separate trial.
Following the conclusion of a trial at Southwark Crown Court on April 8 – Lucy Richardson, 25, of Crofton Avenue, Orpington, Kent, Mark Bowman, 55, of Princes Gardens, Whitley Bay, Mandy Cross, 59, also of Clifton Close, Oprington, and Tanveer were found guilty of money laundering offences.
Philip Hunt, 32, of Whitlingham Lane, Trowse, Norfolk, pleaded guilty to money laundering at an earlier court hearing.
A ‘boiler room’ fraud sees criminals cold calling or emailing their victims pretending to be from an established and legitimate company to persuade them to invest in worthless or non-existent stocks, often using high pressured sales tactics.
Detective Chief Inspector Liz Fernandes, who led the investigation, said: “Investigations such as this are incredibly lengthy and complex, so I’m pleased that the group have now been convicted and will face the justice they deserve.
“These heartless criminals conned innocent people out of their hard earned money.
“Our officers have worked tirelessly to establish the facts around the case and I hope the results will give the victims some sense of closure.”
Sentencing will take place on April 26.