Man behind bars after defrauding elderly Surrey man
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A man has been sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to fraud and money laundering.
Martyn Gravill, 33, of Connaught Drive in Doncaster, was sentenced for two counts of fraud by false representation and two counts of money laundering at Guildford Crown Court on Wednesday (30 June).
The victim, an elderly man living in Surrey, was contacted in 2017 by someone advising him that they were speaking to victims of fraud in the area in order to progress their legal cases. The man had been a victim of fraud by way of rogue trading in the previous year and believed that this person was a genuine staff member representing the UK courts trying to progress his previous case of fraud.
The victim was told that he would need to pay a £20,000 deposit in order for the work to begin on his case. Believing that this was genuine, the victim transferred the money.
A few days later, the victim was contacted again and told that he needed to transfer a further £29,500. The victim’s bank stopped the money, but after he was persuaded to sign a fraudulent release form at a local print shop, the transaction went through.
It was this last transaction which sparked the investigation by officers after they were contacted by the victim’s bank. Following an in-depth investigation tracing bank records and telephone communications, Gravill was found to be linked to the bank account the victim sent the money to, and the phone number that the victim was called from. He was arrested in Doncaster.
T/Detective Sergeant Dominic Yelling, who investigated the case, said: “This was a heartless crime which defrauded an elderly vulnerable man out of his savings. I am pleased that we were able to bring this case to a conclusion and provide some form of justice for the victim.
“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage the family and friends of vulnerable people to keep an eye out for them – unfortunately, they can be the target of fraudulent schemes, but often it’s the people around them who can help stop this from happening.”
If you or someone you know is vulnerable and has been a victim of fraud please call:
Surrey Police on 101 or visit http://www.surrey.police.uk/
To report fraud or attempted fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or report to them online: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
In an emergency, always call 999.
You can read more about door-to-door scams and courier fraud here: https://www.surrey.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/door-to-door-courier-fraud/