Man’s alleged role in fraud

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A Suffolk man has been accused of laundering £371,852 from people as part of multi-million pound fraud operations.

Colin Samuels, 61, of The Street, Redgrave, is alleged to have been a UK ‘front man’ for the operation which netted £5.7 million using two different scams.

It led to Suffolk Trading Standards launching its biggest ever investigation.

On Wednesday, a jury at Ipswich Crown Court were shown internet adverts for a company which claimed to be able to cancel many debts in return for a fee.

The prosecution claim that people who were desperate to get out of debt were duped 
into handing over payments, allegedly to cover investigation costs, but then found they still owed just as much as before.

Investigator Stuart Hughes said the website promoted the services of a company called Cancel Credit.

It claimed that part of the fee required was to apply to the Financial Services Authority compensation fund.

But Mr Hughes told the court that applications to the FSA did not involve the payment of any kind.

The website contained what were claimed to be testimonials from satisfied clients including one who said: “They didn’t just take my money and run like other companies.”

The second scam is alleged to have involved the recruitment of men and women to work as escorts.

A fee was charged while promises of earnings of £600 a week for two dinner dates were given.

It is claimed that no-one 
received any payments from the escort agencies advertised by the alleged fraudsters.

No refunds were given of fees.

Samuels is alleged to have used his position to launder money through the bank account of EBA Ltd, a company of which he was a director.

He has pleaded not guilty to two offences of conspiracy to defraud and two of money laundering.

The alleged scams came to the attention of the authorities after complaints.

The Ministry of Justice became involved, resulting in Suffolk Trading Standards department launching its 
biggest-ever investigation.

Also on trial are Mark Bell, 41, of Westerfield, 
Christopher Taylor, 57, of Wakefield, Bradley Rogers, 29, of Malaga, and Geraldine French, 60, of Lowestoft.

They have also denied charges of fraud and money laundering.

The trial continues.