A Suffolk businessman who spent seven years defrauding investors out of thousands of pounds has been jailed.
Alan Smith, formerly of Glemsford Road, Boxted, near Sudbury, repaid some of the money he took but has still left his victims £335,623 out of pocket, Ipswich Crown Court heard on Tuesday.
Some of the 57-year-old’s victims were women he met on a dating website, members of his partner’s family and people who had done work for him, said Lynne Shirley, prosecuting.
Among them was a 76-year-old who handed over her £100,000 life savings and only got back £48,000.
Miss Shirley said the consequences of Smith’s frauds had affected many people, including a young couple who had been saving for a deposit for a house.
In total Smith obtained £483,400 from around 40 people, some of whom were partially paid back and others who had not lodged a formal complaint against him, said Miss Shirley.
The 28 offences of fraud by false representation involving 15 people to which
Smith had pleaded guilty spanned from January 2007 and January 2014.
Smith had handed himself in to police in April last year and produced a list detailing his victims and the amounts of money he had obtained.
Appearing for Smith, Greg Perrins said that in a voicemail message left for one of his victims, Smith said: “I have abused everyone’s trust. I will go away for a long time and rightly so.”
During the 10 months that Smith has already spent in custody he has suffered two strokes and also suffered from depression and anxiety, the court heard.
Describing Smith’s string of frauds as ‘sophisticated and well thought out’, Judge Rupert Overbury jailed him for a total of four years and four months.