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Five sentenced for fraud that saw elderly conned of thousands

Crime / Tue 19th Dec 2017 at 06:31pm

THREE brothers and two women have been sentenced for their part in a fraud which saw elderly victims conned out of around £250,000.

Amin and Anis Ben-Sghaier claimed to work for a company called AJ Auctioneers and cold called their ten victims, offering to sell their investments. These included rare earth metals, diamonds and wine.

Amir 2

Amin 1

The brothers, who used aliases, persuaded them to pay fees and taxes associated with these sales. But the auctions never took place and the victims were never paid the money they were owed.

One was promised £163,000 from the sale of rare earth metals but received nothing and lost his life savings of £190,000 to the fraudsters. Another man lost his life savings and home.

Police enquiries found the money paid by the victims went into accounts connected to Amin and Anis, their younger brother Bilal, Anis’ former girlfriend Rebecca Batchelor, and Amin’s former girlfriend Beau Bown.

The money was used to fund their lifestyles, including holidays, eating out, clubbing, cosmetic procedures and clothing.

Anis, 25, a trader, of Chelsea Way, Brentwood, admitted conspiracy to commit fraud between January 2013 and September 2016 when he appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court in February this year.

Amin, 27, of Collins Meadow, Harlow, admitted the same charge on September 11.

Beau Bown, 27, of Kitson Way, Harlow, admitted money laundering between September 2013 and September 2016 when she appeared at court on September 11.

Bilal Ben-Sghaier, 22, a cleaner, of Collins Meadow, Harlow, was charged with money laundering between February 2013 and September 2016. He denied the charge and was convicted by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court on September 15.

And Rebecca Batchelor, 21, a model, of Helena Road, Rayleigh, was charged with money laundering between April 2015 and September 2016. She admitted the offence on September 13.
Bilal and Batchelor stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on September 11.

At Chelmsford Crown Court on December 14, Anis Ben-Sghaier was jailed for four-and-a-half years for the fraud offences and six months for a separate charge of possession of cannabis with intent to supply, to run consecutively. He was sentenced to a total of five years.

He was also made subject of a serious crime prevention order to run for five years, to start upon his release.

Bilal Ben-Sghaier and Bown were each given 12-month sentences, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Bown was given a 12-month community order and ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work.

At Chelmsford Crown Court today, Tuesday December 19, Amin Ben-Sghaier was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

In a victim impact statement submitted to the court, one of the victims said she had given all her money to one of the alleged representatives of AJ Auctioneers. But he demanded more and she borrowed another £2,000 to pay him, which affected her relationship with the relative who lent her the money.

She said the fraud had worsened her mental health.

“I suppose I was naïve to put all my trust in ‘Alan Smith’, but I was in a vulnerable position and did not want to believe I was being conned,” she said.

“I have learned a very hard lesson and subsequently my faith in people has suffered a blow because my trusting nature and vulnerability were betrayed.”

Speaking after today’s hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Lee Morton, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “None of the five gave any thought to the victims in their pursuit of greed.

“They have ruined the lives of innocent people and no sentence can undo the harm they have caused through their callousness.
“However, I hope these sentences will mean they cannot prey on anyone else.
“We believe there may be other people who have not yet come forward who have fallen victim to this fraud.
“So I’d urge anyone who believes they have been a victim to please contact us.”

Contact the Serious Economic Crime Unit on 101.

Alternatively, contact independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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4 Comments for Five sentenced for fraud that saw elderly conned of thousands:

MickyB77
2017-12-20 07:05:03

Another bunch of low life immigrants who need to be sent back to wherever their families came from. Sick to death of reading about immigrant crime and drug running, which seems a dedicated way of life to these filth. Abbott wants more of them to come here. Vote LABOUR at your PERIL. You'll get more of the same.

staff.reporter.ate.my.hamster
2017-12-20 08:03:35

Just to say - Its not only people with "foreign" sounding names that commit crimes.

RayMo
2017-12-20 11:39:30

100% agree with Micky.

MickyB77
2017-12-21 07:17:24

Just saying, staff. The percentages of immigrant criminals in GB is dis-proportionate, regarding crime. The police have a very well staffed group called Trident, founded solely to investigate "black on black" crime. Insurance scams mostly emanating from the Asian communities, teenagers being raped and groomed. Shall I go on ? LABOUR at your PERIL.

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