Man jailed for his part in "boiler room" scam which targeted victims across UK, including East Surrey (From Redhill And Reigate Life)
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Man jailed for his part in "boiler room" scam which targeted victims across UK, including East Surrey
7:00am Tuesday 1st October 2013 in News
A man involved in a 'boiler room' scam which targeted victims from across the UK, including East Surrey, has been jailed for three years.
Simon Neil Tucker, 32, was part of a team of young men who persuaded people to buy company shares which turned out to be overpriced or worthless.
The scam was operated from offices in Spain and involved the group cold-calling a number of victims between 2007 and 2009. Tucker, from Carlisle, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and was sentenced at the Central Criminal Court on Friday, September 20. He was the fourth member of the group to be given a jail term since 2009.
Surrey Police will now seek a Confiscation Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize any available assets that Tucker may have.
He was arrested in January 2012 by officers from Surrey Police's Economic Crime Unit.
They had carried out a lengthy enquiry into the scam, after intelligence was received that Tucker had returned to the UK and was living in Cumbria.
Officers found documents relating to Tucker's employment in the ‘boiler room' and discovered pictures on a computer of him in Spain and on other holidays abroad.
They also discovered insurance valuation documents for a ring at 10,800 Euros and a watch valued at 17,000 Euros. The investigation, called Operation Quill, had begun in 2008 after an elderly East Surrey resident came forward to report he had been a victim.
The pensioner, a former Spitfire pilot who flew during World War II, was called by a man claiming to work for a firm called Waterman and Co in January 2007.
He was pressed into buying a small number of shares in an American company. Over the next 15 months he received numerous phone calls and was pressured into parting with around ₤200,000 – he and his wife's life savings which had taken 30 to 40 years to accumulate.
More enquiries, which were carried out with the assistance of the City of London Police, uncovered other victims from Surrey, Wales, Scotland, Durham, Derbyshire and London.
Some of them were elderly, ill and vulnerable.
The investigation found that the total amount of money lost was more than £1 million pounds, and many of the victims had been milked of their life savings. Enquiries revealed those working in the ‘boiler room' spent their days cold-calling customers using false names and trying to persuade them to purchase shares in a number of different companies, mainly in the USA, which turned out to be worthless or overpriced.
Investors were led to believe that the business operated from offices in the financial centres of London and Luxembourg. Those operating the scam were paid a percentage of any money victims transferred and were promised trips to Miami and Las Vegas as rewards.
Detective Sergeant Chris Rambour of Surrey Police's Economic Crime Unit, said: "Tucker was part of a group who persuaded often vulnerable people to part with their cash, knowing full well they had no chance of seeing any return on their investment.
"All the while, those working in the boiler room were lining their own pockets and enjoying the high life.”
Det Sgt Rambour said: "This was a complicated investigation but thanks to the continued hard work and tenacity of officers from the Economic Crime Unit, Tucker is the fourth person jailed for their part in this scam. "Some of the victims in this case lost their life savings and I hope this sentence sends out a warning to others that we are determined to pursue anyone involved in this type of criminality and bring them before the courts.”