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
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