Two members of a gang who defrauded more than £2million from members of the public in a large-scale cold-calling fraud have been jailed, bringing the total number of people sent to prison to eight.
Michael Foran and Kallan Henry, both 27, were convicted of fraud offences following a five-week trial at Southwark Crown Court for their roles in a scheme selling fictional investments. Today, Foran was jailed for four-and-a-half years and Henry was given an 18-month prison sentence.
The court heard how the gang used seemingly legitimate businesses called London Carbon Credit Company and Henderson International to convince investors to purchase ‘carbon credits’ by promising vastly inflated returns which never materialised.
Today’s sentencing follows on from a linked trial in August 2016 when six other members of the fraud all received jail sentences of between four and 11 years. The sentencing judge on that occasion, HHJ Korner, called the scheme ‘unpleasant and unscrupulous’.
The leader of the fraud, James Francis Byrne, 30, received a combined sentence of 11 years for his role as the ‘brains behind the scheme’. He received the majority of the profits of the business spending them on a lavish lifestyle. HHJ Korner described Byrne as ‘motivated entirely by greed and a callous disregard for the victims of the fraud’.
Luke Dockwray, Senior Specialist Prosecutor from the CPS Specialist Fraud Division, said:
“These criminals posed as legitimate businessmen to defraud millions of pounds from trusting investors in a calculated, persistent way.
“By exposing their lies and the absence of any investment value in what they were selling, the prosecution was able to prove that behind the City façade and sales talk were dishonest criminals, stealing the hard-earned pensions and savings of ordinary people.”