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Help for Heroes conman facing jail

A conman is today facing a prison sentence after admitting he pocketed £300,000 of donations meant for the Help for Heroes charity.

Christopher Copeland, 51, recruited teams of workers to set up donation stations at supermarkets around the country over an 18-month period.

The teams would use Copeland's fleet of ex-military vehicles, in Help for Heroes livery, and encourage shoppers to put money in charity buckets.

They then handed the cash over to Copeland, of mid Devon, who transferred it into his personal bank accounts.

Exeter Crown Court previously heard the scam took place between February 1 2010 and September 17 2011, when Copeland was arrested.

He admitted one charge of fraud by false representation and a charge of concealing criminal property, relating to the stolen documents.

At a hearing in July, Judge Philip Wassall warned Copeland he faced a "lengthy" custodial sentence.

The fraud charge states Copeland took the donations knowing that he did not intend to pass them on to Help for Heroes, contrary to Section 1 of the Fraud Act.

Copeland will also face proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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