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1 April 2015, 10:25 | Updated: 1 April 2015, 10:27
A Milton Keynes man has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of 12 fraud offences totalling more than £750,000.
John Clifton Davies, aged 53, of Dean Forest Way, Broughton, Milton Keynes, was sentenced in his absence to eight years’ imprisonment.
Davies failed to attend court for his six week trial at Aylesbury Crown Court earlier this month and a warrant for his arrest has been issued.
The charges relate to Davies’ dealings with nine different companies where he gained in excess of £750,000.
He used the money to buy himself a new house furnished with the latest cinema system and a luxury kitchen. He also spent over £70,000 on a new Range Rover, designer clothes and foreign holidays to Barbados and Las Vegas.
Davies claimed to be an insolvency and business adviser despite not being licensed. Between 2007 and 2013 he targeted distressed companies, claiming that he could assist in restructuring their debts.
Davies gained the victims’ trust and then took the money which was due to the company creditors which he then spent on his lifestyle.
The result of his actions resulted in numerous people losing their jobs, livelihoods and companies.
The offences occurred in Theale in Berkshire, Kent, and in Northamptonshire, with a total loss to victims of £775,930.20.
Thames Valley Police Economic Crime Unit spent more than two years collating the evidence.
Investigating officer, Det Con Stephanie Burleigh, from the Thames Valley Police Economic Crime Unit, said: “Although I am pleased with this sentence, it is now vital that we trace Davies so that he can serve his time. As the judge said during sentencing, Davies has shown flagrant disregard to this court case. He has deliberately absconded and I appeal to anyone who knows of his whereabouts to contact police.
“Davies has led a flamboyant lifestyle on the back of these despicable crimes which have caused so much misery up and down the country. “I am very grateful to all the victims and witnesses who took the time to come to court and give statements to support the proceedings against this serial fraudster. Company fraud is not a victimless crime, Davies ruined many livelihoods and Thames Valley Police takes these crimes seriously. I appeal to anyone who knows where Davies is to contact the police immediately so that he can serve his sentence.”
Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved a cruel and elaborate fraud during which John Davies duped several vulnerable company directors during a six year period (2007-2013) into believing he was an insolvency practitioner and business adviser and could restructure their debts.Instead, he gained the trust of the directors, took control of their company’s assets totalling more than £775,000 and spent them to fund his own lavish lifestyle.
“Serial fraudster Davies effectively ran a business to defraud, exploit, and extract money from vulnerable victims.He did not act in the best interests of his clients, and was motivated purely by money and greed. He is clearly a very selfish, dishonest and callous man. Numerous people lost their jobs, livelihoods and companies. The offences committed are despicable, pitiless and heartless.
“Davies deliberately failed to attend the Crown Court when his trial was listed. The prosecution applied to the Judge to allow the jury to hear the evidence gathered in this case in his absence.This application was granted and Davies’ attempts to disrupt the trial process were unsuccessful. He has now been tried and convicted of 12 counts of fraud and was today, (31/3), sentenced in his absence.
“We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police since the investigation was launched and built a strong case to present the court with the full extent of the offending. This allowed the Judge to sentence appropriately for this appalling campaign of fraud.
“This case should give victims the confidence to speak up.Victims should not hesitate to report trust cons/frauds to the police, so that they can be prosecuted appropriately in order to prevent further victims being preyed upon.
“This case also sends a clear message to those involved in this kind of criminality that we will robustly prosecute them to ensure that justice is done, and that they will pay not only financially, but with their liberty too.
“This case represents a tragedy for the victims, who have lost their businesses and have been left bankrupt. We know that nothing can undo what has happened to them, but we hope that the conviction and today’s sentence brings them at least a small sense that justice has been done. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time.”
Anyone who has any information relating to Davies’ current whereabouts is urged to call the 24-hour Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101.
If you do not want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.