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Paul Becher, 40, of Cardiff, received funds in his bank from pensioners who thought they were buying shares.
Paul Becher, 40, of Cardiffreceived funds into his bank as part of an arrangement where he would transfer money to a man called Paul Gerrard who was living in Spain. The money had been sent to Becher's by three elderly men — aged 87, 84, and 71 respectively — who believed they were buying shares or releasing equity when they transferred the money.
While the defendant was not aware of the scam he became suspicious and gathered the money had not been gained by legal means but he continued to receive the funds and transferring them to Mr Gerrard. : Go here to read all the latest stories from the courts in Wales. Prosecutor Tom Roberts said the first victim, an year-old retired man with mobility issues, was conned by two people — a Ryan Jenkins and someone called Paul, who was believed to be Paul Gerrard.
They convinced the victim to transfer money into the owned by Becher in order Personal service gerrards Spain today invest in shares with a high return but these shares did not exist. The man, who has now died, ly told officers he felt "cheated and deceived" by the scam.
A second victim, an year-old, was cold-called and conned into investing his money after the fraudsters pretended to be from a genuine investment company who were calling under the pretence of making investments. The third victim, a year-old, was convinced he needed to pay money to "release gains" his investments had made, and for non-existent shares, but all the money was transferred to Becher's.
Mr Roberts said: "In September [Becher] had become suspicious that the funds passing through his were not legitimate. Becher later pleaded guilty to money laundering and the court also heard he had 10 convictions relating to dishonesty.
Defence barrister Tim Evans said his client was "taken in" by Mr Gerrard but accepted he did not stop or challenge him when he became suspicious about the money.
He said Becher expressed genuine remorse when the "full picture" was explained to him. Sentencing, Recorder Greg Bull QC said: "These offences stem from a particularly mean activity which defrauded at least three old-aged pensioners. The tactics used were despicable but I accept you knew nothing of that background.
Becher was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out hours of unpaid work. By Philip Dewey Court Correspondent. Video Loading Video Unavailable. Click to play Tap to play. The video will auto-play soon 8 Cancel Play now.
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