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Conmen face jail for £1m doorstep scam

PUBLISHED: 12:59 10 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:00 25 August 2010

CON-ARTISTS who tricked elderly and vulnerable victims out of more than £1 million are facing years in jail. Moses Mead, 25, of Springhead Road, Northfleet and Christopher Latty, 38, of Gillingham targeted homes in Kent, South East London and Cambridge

CON-ARTISTS who tricked elderly and vulnerable victims out of more than £1 million are facing years in jail.

Moses Mead, 25, of Springhead Road, Northfleet and Christopher Latty, 38, of Gillingham targeted homes in Kent, South East London and Cambridge over a period of three years.

They are due to be sentenced next month in a case Richard Strawson, Trading Standards area manager for West Kent, said was the worst he had seen.

He said: "What makes this so unusual, in terms of the amount of money that has been taken, is how Mead revisited his victims over a long period.

"It is one of the highest I have heard of and was a result of his touring the country to find these vulnerable victims."

The pair were caught by Kent Police in Cambridge on January 14 this year following a complex investigation led by detectives in West Kent and the Serious and Organised Crime Unit.

Appearing at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday, Mead pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by misrepresentation.

The court heard victims included a man in his 60s from Bexleyheath who lost £522,000 and an 82-year-old, from Medway, who was conned out of £230,000.

Others targeted were a 79-year-old woman, from Plumstead, tricked out of 14,500 for works to her roof that never took place and an 82-year-old woman, from Chatham, who lost £9,275,

Mr Strawson said Trading Standards treats door to door bogus callers as its highest priority and urges people to call them in any situation.

He added: "It is difficult to know how often it happens because people are ashamed to come forward about being tricked.

"Someone like Mead, to get as much as he did, was clearly very good at tricking people and victims should not be ashamed to come forward. These people do not stop so it could help prevent the same thing happening to some one else."

Police revealed Mead was linked to the crimes after returning years after the first contact posing to pose as an employee for a firm dealing with companies in liquidation.

He would tell his victims a cheque for repayment due to over-charging had been found at the offices of these businesses but they must pay a percentage of it to receive the money.

The duo are due to be sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on July 9.

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