WORK done to return £72,000 to the victim of a police impersonation fraud
WORK done to return £72,000 to the victim of a police impersonation fraud has been praised by the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The victim, who is in her 80s and at the time of the fraud was living in Wainfleet, suffered considerable emotional distress due to the theft. Conmen, pretending to be police officers from London, had tricked her into moving the cash into a complex series of accounts that they controlled.
Two men pleaded guilty and two others were found guilty of money laundering in June last year and were sentenced the following month.
PCC Marc Jones praised the persistence shown by Lincolnshire Police to pursue the men through the courts to recover the stolen money.
Last week the force applied under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover money from a 54-year-old man from Hempstead.
A confiscation figure of £106,867.68 was agreed at court, with £61,357.82 being paid to the victim. Other money stolen from the victim was paid back after a previous hearing for one of the other defendants, and cash that the victim’s bank had managed to recover.
Mr Jones said the case sent out a clear message to conmen that Lincolnshire Police would not rest until offenders were caught, punished and their assets seized.
“This kind of crime is despicable and I support, wholeheartedly, the unwavering pursuit of those who commit such offences,” said Mr Jones.
“My deputy Stuart Tweedale has been doing incredible work to highlight the dangers of fraud and scams and this has both educated the public about various scams and helped encourage victims to come forward.
“His work, coupled with the determination to catch and prosecute these criminals, is helping to turn the tide on this issue.
“There is much work still to be done but we are committed to ensuring these conmen do not prey on our people and our communities.”