A 57-year-old man appeared at York Crown Court today and was imprisoned for two years and three months for carrying out a series of frauds against an elderly man from Harrogate.
David William Connor of Green Lane, Wetherby, who pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud at an earlier hearing, befriended the 88-year-old widower and over a period of 16 months defrauded him out of £18,450.
A family friend raised the alarm, after the victim found himself in financial hardship following the purchase of a campervan from Connor in May 2015. Officers investigated the sale of the van and found that Connor had convinced the elderly man to buy a 1989 Ford Transit campervan from him for a vastly inflated sum, overcharging him by £10,000.
Further investigations found that between September 2014 and December 2015 the victim had written a series of cheques to Connor which totalled nearly £9,000. When questioned about the other payments, Connor replied that these payments had been for extensive work he had carried out at the victims home address. When the work was assessed by an independent professional, it was found to be minimal and estimated to have cost a few thousand pounds. Detailed investigation of Connor’s financial dealings found that he had ordered materials from wholesalers, to carry out work at the victims home, but had never settled the bills, pocketing the £9,000 instead.
Speaking about the sentence passed today, Financial Investigator Constable Emma Harris said:
"This has been a detailed and complex investigation, started by Police Constable Tim Craven prior to his retirement, which has taken a lot of hard work and determination to piece together.
"Thanks to the dedication of the investigation team and the assistance of a number of agencies and organisations, we were able to track Connors fraudulent dealings and show him for the con artist that he is.
"Targeting an elderly man time and time again and taking advantage of his vulnerability to strip him of £18,450, so that he could fund his own lifestyle, shows Connor to be the heartless individual he is.
"I hope the sentence handed to him today sends a clear message to those who think they can carry out despicable acts like this; police will work tirelessly with a fine toothed comb to gather the evidence necessary to secure a conviction and use the relevant legislation to ensure that fraudsters ill-gotten gains are seized and victims are repaid.”
The Proceeds of Crime Act has now been enacted to seize Connor’s assets, to refund the victim of the money taken from him.