A MAN who conned a pensioner out of more than £400,000 by pretending to be a court-ordered debt collector has been jailed for four years.
Wayne Mark McCreery, 50, targeted the Yorkshire pensioner over a period of three years as well as scamming other victims across Britain and Northern Ireland.
McCreery, of St Andrews Road, Stretford, Manchester, was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court on Friday, having previously pleaded guilty.
His co-accused, 38-year-old Liam Dinsdale of Varley Street, Colne, Lancashire, was also due to be sentenced but took ill and is expected to return to court in February.
Seven family members and friends of the pair were also charged with laundering money obtained by the fraudsters.
“Wayne McCreery and Liam Dinsdale are cruel and calculated individuals who have previously served prison sentences for almost identical frauds in other parts of the country,” said Detective Constable Neil Brodhurst from North Yorkshire Police.
“They prey on vulnerable people for their own greed for money at any costs.”
Debt collection scam
McCreery and Dinsdale targeted their victim — a small business owner aged in his 70s — between 2015 and 2018.
The pair claimed they were from a debt collecting agency acting on behalf of the county court regarding outstanding business advertising costs.
They pressured the man into agreeing to pay regular instalments using the threat of him having to go to court.
The conspiracy to defraud continued up until October 2018 when North Yorkshire Police were alerted to the matter.
McCreery and Dinsdale were arrested along with seven family members and friends.
DC Brodhurst led the investigation and was able to identify the crimes against the victim in North Yorkshire and others across Britain and Northern Ireland.
In total, the loss to all the victims amounted to a combined £472,896.20.
“It has been a long and painstaking effort to secure justice for their victims,” said DC Brodhurst.
“They have endured a great deal of upset and anguish by these criminals and the people close to them who laundered the money.
“The significant prison sentence handed to McCreery is satisfying for everyone connected to the investigation.
“I hope the victims are able to take some comfort from the outcome at court and again when Dinsdale is sentenced in February.”
Of the seven accused of money laundering, four pleaded guilty and were handed suspended sentences and community orders.
Danielle Jade McCreery, 32, of Lodgepole Close, Eccles, Salford, was sentenced 24 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a six-month curfew.
Jade Sutherland, 44, received 16 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with a three-month curfew.
Marvyn O’Reilly, 39, of Densmore Street, Failsworth, Oldham, was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 200 hours of unpaid work.
Penelope Lewis, 30, of Sandpiper Close, Farnworth, Bolton, was handed a 12-month Community Order and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
The other three were found guilty of money laundering following trials in July and October last year.
Krystal Anglin, 41, of Park Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 250 hours of unpaid work.
Kelly Mary O’Reilly, 44, received a 12-month Community Order and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
Margaret Townson, 57, of Fern Street, Colne, Lancashire, was handed a 12-month Community Order with 150 hours of unpaid work.