Birmingham scammer jailed for £ 100,000 of magazine ad fraud

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Birmingham man has been sentenced to three years in prison for a three-year fraud which saw him take hundreds of thousands of pounds from charities, public bodies and businesses through the fraudulent sale of advertising space in a non-existent student magazine.

Andre Nathaniel-Rock, 44, of Mynors Crescent, Hollywood, was sentenced Monday by His Honor Judge Hooper at Worcester Crown Court.

In 2001, Nathaniel-Rock created the publishing company Templar International to produce the Student Lifestyle Guide, which contained articles and advertisements of interest to students.

The Guide was intended to be an annual publication provided free of charge to students in the UK, with income generated through the sale of advertising space. It was printed between 2002 and 2005, but only several hundred were produced each year and then ceased publication.

However, between 2006 and 2009, a number of organizations were contacted by Nathaniel-Rock, who used false names, claiming that the guide continued to be published with a circulation of four million and that advertising statistics were showing results. fantastic.

Between 2006 and 2009, £ 253,371.22 was withdrawn from Templar International’s corporate account by Nathaniel-Rock to fund his personal lifestyle, it was later discovered.

On November 13, 2008, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs filed for bankruptcy against Templar International and in the ensuing proceedings the Insolvency Service agency suspected fraudulent activity because the advertising space was still sold long after publication ended as well as Nathaniel-Rock’s extravagant publicity. complaints.

The West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit opened an investigation in August 2010 and eventually a total of 31 organizations – including charities as well as private companies and public bodies – filed formal complaints. against Nathaniel-Rock for misleading advertising worth £ 186,998.25.

Following a lengthy investigation, Nathaniel-Rock pleaded guilty on January 2 to three offenses of obtaining a deceptive money transfer from Nivea, Birmingham Trading Standards and Buffalo Technology.

He also pleaded guilty to nine misrepresentation fraud offenses against Amazon, Macmillan Cancer Support, Ladbrokes PLC, TK Maxx, Mazuma Mobile, EBuyer UK Ltd, Club 18-30, 4 Wheelz Driving School and Hostelworld.com.

The loss to these organizations as a result of Nathaniel-Rock’s dishonesty was £ 103,644.

Detective Inspector Mark Glazzard, who heads the Economic Crime Unit, said: “Nathaniel-Rock committed prudent, prolonged and targeted fraud, but he made no distinction as to who he duped, taking money from charities and small businesses as well as multinationals.

“The sentence reflects the large losses attributed to this con artist, who used false names, exaggerations and fancy elements to strike a deal. In his attempts to impress people, he even went so far as to buy the title of Scottish Baron of the Baron Cavers in 2004, which was recently valued at £ 25,000. “


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