Fraudsters made to pay back money

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Three fraudsters who duped more than 100 eBay customers out of money have been ordered to pay back almost £72,000 of the £79,527 they made from the elaborate scam.

Steven Curran, Gary Gillam and Anthony Young were jailed for three-and-a-half years each last December after admitting to their parts in a large-scale fraud.

The gang set up a fake distribution firm and used the website Gumtree to advertise vacancies within the company. When people submitted their CVs to apply for the jobs, the men used the personal details of 11 of them to set up bank accounts. They then created another 19 fake identities to perpetrate their scam.

The men used the identities to open eBay accounts and sell stolen goods on the site. They then started selling fictitious items on the internet auction site, encouraging customers to pay with a banker’s draft. The people they duped lost money to the gang and never saw the items they paid for.

The investigation revealed £79,527 had been paid into false bank accounts during the conspiracy.

At a hearing on Friday last week Gillam, of Lansbury Drive, South Normanton, was ordered to pay back £69, 591, from which £15,325 will be used as compensation to pay back the victims he duped.

The 36-year-old has six months to pay but if he fails to do so, he can be jailed for a further 18 months.

Young (36), of Birchwood Lane, South Normanton, is understood to have made £9,236 and he was told to pay back £487. He will face an extra 14 days in prison if he fails to do this.

Curran (37), of Peel Street, South Normanton, was dealt with at a separate hearing, which took place on 22nd March. He was said to have benefitted by £700 and was ordered to pay back £1.

Police found a further £1,030 in bank accounts during their investigation. None of the men admitted the money was theirs and it was taken from them at Friday’s hearing, which took place at Derby Crown Court.

Detective Superintendent Terry Branson said: “These three conned numerous people, who paid them money for items they never received.

“I’m pleased that some of these victims will now be compensated. The Proceeds of Crime Act is an excellent piece of legislation which allows us to make sure criminals are stripped of any wealth they have made.”