|Catch Me If You Can Teen Told To Expect Prison Term|
Chiswick con artist funded champagne lifestyle with advertising scams
A Chiswick teenager has been told by a judge to expect a prison sentence after he was found guilty of being one of the country’s biggest con artists.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was first arrested in October 2004 but was granted bail and continued to ‘sell’ fake products over the following two years.
Shortly after his first arrest, he contacted ChiswickW4.com claiming that he wanted to tell his story but throughout the interview, it was clear that his sole aim was to brag about his 'achievements'.
After losing his mother to cancer at the age of 13, he went to live with his grandmother in Chiswick. He went on to explain how his fledgling business empire had been launched from a car boot at Chiswick Community School.
Discovering that making money was more enjoyable than attending school, he began placing adverts on Ebay selling non-existent stationary and later larger items such as plasma screens. By the time of his second arrest in 2006, he was operating an on-line escort and dating service. He told chiswickw4.com how he had recruited a 51 year old manager for his 'business' and a 23 year old PA as well as a number of other staff using various job centres to cover up the fact that employees left as soon as they realised they would never be paid.
His egotism and complete lack of remorse for anyone who had fallen foul of his cons was also noted by the Police who described him in court as arrogant and an "outrageous snob" claiming that public transport was for "commoners” and spending the money on prostitutes, expensive bars, international travel and chartering private jets.
The boy, now 16, admitted 16 charges of fraud totaling £50,000 and asked for a further 105 charges worth £135,000 to be taken into account. However, the following day he was at it again. Details of his websites, at least one of which is reportedly still operating, cannot be revealed as this would lead to his identification but consumer chatrooms are full of unhappy customers complaining about his scams.
According to one newspaper report, just before Christmas, adverts were placed in national newspapers offering Dyson vacuum cleaners for £99. Hundreds of readers sent cheques and bank account details. When the goods didn't arrive, he would string them along, offering a refund in 120 days if the products still failed to show up.
Sentencing is due later this month.
May 10, 2007