Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Touts face jail over Olympics scam

Terence Shepherd has been convicted of money-laundering, fraudulent trading and acting as a director while disqualified
Alan Scott has been found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading and will be sentenced on Monday

Two touts have been warned they face jail over a £5 million Olympic ticket fraud which took in more than 10,000 customers.

The scam saw sports fans pay up to 48 times the price of Beijing Olympics tickets - but not a single one arrived.

The parents of gold medal-winning swimmer Rebecca Adlington were among victims from all over the world taken in by the ticket fraud in 2008.

The conmen were also involved in the sale of £1 million-worth of tickets to major sporting events such as football and rugby matches and pop concerts, including events at the O2.

Jurors at Southwark Crown Court, in London, returned their verdicts after almost 26 hours of deliberation. They convicted Terence Shepherd, 52, of Blackheath, south east London, of two counts each of fraudulent trading and acting as a director while disqualified. He was found guilty of money-laundering on Tuesday.

Alan Scott, 56, from Chigwell, Essex, had already been found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading. Allan Schaverien, 67, has already admitted aiding and abetting fraudulent trading.

Shepherd's wife Margaret Canty-Shepherd, 51, was acquitted of money-laundering. Cyril Gold, from Harrow Weald, north west London, was found not guilty of aiding and abetting fraudulent trading.

Prosecutors claimed that a number of companies, including Xclusive Leisure and Hospitality and Peter's Tickets, were involved in the scheme. The trial heard that customers lost a total of £6 million.

More than 500 people gave statements to the Serious Fraud Office. Many have already recovered their money from credit card companies, which have pursued civil cases. Prosecutors now hope to seize the group's assets.

Remanding Shepherd and Scott in custody until sentencing on Monday, Judge Martin Beddow said: "You have now been convicted of very serious offences so a term of imprisonment of some significance is now inevitable."

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