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Weekly Edition - Published  25 January 2016

 

Local News Report - Mobile Page

 

7 defendants where sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court following publishing scam

A Merseyside man has been sentenced on Friday, 22 January 2016, for a multi million pound scam, which conned thousands of family run businesses into paying for advertising in a fake emergency service magazine.

George Williams and his team of sales reps used contact lists traded with other fraudsters to pressure small and medium sized business into taking out adverts in 'Emergency Services News.'

Operating from a rented Office on Dale Street, in Liverpool City Centre, Williams' company that was called:- 'Weinstein Williams Associates' cold called people from Plymouth to Scotland and lied to them by saying that their magazine and website was endorsed by the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services.

Sales reps working for Williams also lied during their sales pitch by claiming that the magazine was distributed to all members of the 3 emergency services throughout the United Kingdom.

Detectives from Merseyside Police's Economic Crime Team, working in partnership with Trading Standards, were alerted to the scam and established that to fulfil its promises to customers they would have had to produce 1.2 million copies of the magazine per year. Investigators proved that in fact Williams' company only produced around 30,000 magazines.

After a 5 year investigation, sparked by Trading Standards and Consumer Direct spotting a pattern of complaints and contacting Merseyside Police, George Williams and his operations manager Gayle Leahair were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and fraudulent trading.

They denied the offences, but during a 12 week trial, that took place at Liverpool Crown Court over 2015, a jury found them guilty of both charges. 4 other defendants who were accused of being sales reps and knowingly involved in the fraud scam, pleaded guilty during the trial and a 5th person, Ronnie Llloyd, who acted as their sales manager, also pleaded guilty to offences of counselling and procuring the 4 sales reps to commit their fraudulent sales pitches.

 

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