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Property fraudsters ripped off pensioners in timeshare scam

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Written by: Samantha Partington
17/02/2016
A gang of fraudsters conned 38 pensioners holding timeshares in Spanish properties out of £1m by offering to sell their investments, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

The Express & Star reported that, between February 2011 and April 2013, members of the 10-strong gang telephoned the victims promising an increased payout on their properties.

Judge Roderick Henderson told the court how one 78-year-old duped by the criminals had planned to use the money to pay off her mortgage.

The court had previously heard how the pensioners received phone calls telling them their timeshares could be sold for a fee. They were told they had to pay tax and a legal fee for the service but instead some were left broke and in debt. One victim lost her life savings of £172,000.

Henderson said: “The common theme among victims are feelings of humiliation and stupidity.”

Addressing the gang the judge went on to add: “Your group repeatedly went after some of the victims. You went back to them again and again when others in the group had already defrauded them”

“You told them that, for a fee, you would help their problems go away,” he added.

He said the victims owned their timeshares and were trying to sell them for a ‘reasonable’ price.

Of the 10, seven members were jailed for conspiracy to defraud. The remaining three were given suspended sentences and community service.

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