A Redgrave man has been jailed for his part in international frauds involving victims being swindled out of £5.7 million.
Colin Samuels, 62, of The Street, had denied two offences of conspiracy to defraud but was last month convicted by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court following a nine week trial.
Sentencing him to five years and six months, Judge Rupert Overbury today (12) said: “You played a significant role.”
The prosecution had claimed that Samuels had acted as ‘front man’ for the frauds, allowing the bank account of EBA Ltd of which he was a director to be used to launder tens of thousands of pounds between November 2009 and November 2010.
Samuels, who did not give evidence during the trial, had been part of a conspiracy in which call centres in Spain and Turkey were used to target around 14,000 victims.
People who responded to advertisements for escorts with the promise of high earnings handed over an initial fee but received no payments or any refunds.
A second fraud was involved people with large credit card debts in the UK being ‘cold called and offered the chance to have their debts eliminated in return for a fee.
Again nothing happened and no fees were refunded.
Samuels and four other people convicted by the same jury were arrested and charged following the largest investigation ever undertaken by Suffolk Trading
Standards, codenamed Operation Troy.
Judge Overbury said: “Both these frauds were dishonest from the start. They were scams. They were designed to enrich yourselves at the expense of others.
“I am satisfied that each of you in your own ways played a vital role in the success of these offences.”
Defending, Alisdair Williamson described Samuels as a ‘dishonest fool’.
that Samuels had amassed £180,000 in credit card debts. He had benefited by £28,000 from allowing his bank account to be used for the frauds and setting up other accounts when needed.
Mr Williamson said: “He has disgraced himself and his family.”
In total £300,000 was laundered by Samuels.
Also jailed today (12) was Antoni Muldoon, 66, of Spain, who was said to have masterminded and overseen the running of the frauds.
He pleaded guilty to two offences of conspiracy to defraud and was sentenced to seven years and five months.
AMark Bell, 41, of Westerfield, was jailed for six years and six months and Geraldine French, 60, of Lowestoft for six years and five months. Both were convicted of conspiracy to defraud.
Former police officer Christopher Taylor, 57, from Wakefield and Bradley Rogers, 29, from Malaga, had been found guilty of money laundering.
Taylor was sentenced to three years and six months in jail and Rogers to two years and ten months.