Gang Including Six From Essex Jailed For £70 Million Fraud

Nine people, including six from Essex, have been convicted in connection with what is thought to be the UK's largest ``boiler room'' fraud case, which took £70 million.

The group tricked more than 1,000 investors into buying worthless shares in inactive businesses.

The gang splashed out on a lavish lifestyle of foreign homes, private jets, luxury yachts and fine wine after conning Britons into buying shares in what they thought were US firms, the Serious Fraud Office said.

A boiler room fraud involves a business, often from overseas, persistently pushing the urgent sale of over-valued or even worthless shares in a company.

The scheme's Australian mastermind Jeffrey Revell-Reade, 49, and Spain-based Briton Anthony May, 58, were convicted of conspiracy to defraud at Southwark Crown Court in London yesterday, the SFO said, while Revell-Reade was cleared of a charge of corruption.

The SFO said it could now be reported that six other people were jailed in May 2013 in connection with the fraud, which spanned four years between 2003 and 2007.

Daniel Gooding, 39, from Brentwood, Essex, was jailed for seven years, while Shaun David Rumsey, 33, from Basildon, Essex, Philip Morris, 38, from Biddenden, Kent and Jon Steven Frank Emery, 36, from Romford, Essex, were jailed for five years. Ian Hughes, 34, from Hainault, Essex was jailed for four years and and Emma Farmer, 41, also from Brentwood, was jailed for three years.

The SFO said they formed the senior management and operations team for three Madrid boiler rooms and conspired with Mr Revell-Reade and Mr May to defraud investors.

A ninth defendant, Michelle Coleman, 62, from Brentwood was given a 21-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to three counts of money laundering, the SFO said.

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