Woman conned father and son out of £20,000, court told

Crown Court, Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

Crown Court, Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A former driving instructor scammed a father and son out of more than £20,000 after persuading them to put their money in a bogus investment scheme, a court heard.

During the 11 year fraud, Doreen Quinton, also known as Gooch, of Booth Lane, Kesgrave, near Ipswich, allegedly wove a “web of lies and deceit” to get money out of two men, who were family friends, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

The alleged fraud included providing names of people who didn’t exist and the name of a man she claimed was her step-father.

Simon Gladwell, prosecuting, said 77-year-old Quinton, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2013, claimed her step-father was a wealthy entrepreneur who travelled the world seeking lucrative business deals and was looking for new investors.

On the basis of what he was told, one of the men, who is now aged 75, made regular cash payments over ten years on the basis that his investment and interest would be returned in full in June 2015.

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The man, who was defrauded out of £19,000, was allegedly given receipts by Quinton and was also provided with printed statements purporting to show where his money had been invested.

As the June 2015 payday got nearer Quinton allegedly claimed her father had been taken ill and had subsequently died and that the man who had taken over the investment scheme had been jailed for three years for embezzling the funds.

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The court heard that Quinton faced a charge of committing fraud between 2004 and 2015 by false representation.

On Thursday, Judge Rupert Overbury found Quinton was unfit to stand trial because of her dementia and a jury was empanelled to hear evidence to decide whether or not the act she was alleged to have committed had taken place.

One of the victims of the alleged fraud told the court that after 11 years the projected return on his investment was £750,000.

His son, who allegedly lost £3,000, told the court he had started to question the legitimacy of the scheme after five or six years and had stopped making payments to Quinton.

“I thought it was too good to be true,” he said.

He said in hindsight he wished he had made his father aware of his suspicions.

The case continues.

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