£1m timeshare gang targeted pensioners and left victims feeling humiliated

Members of a fraud gang whose £1 million timeshare swindle left elderly victims feeling humiliated and stupid have been jailed for a combined 48 years.

£1m timeshare gang targeted pensioners and left victims feeling humiliated

The 38 pensioners targeted by the ruthless squad from the Midlands had thousands of pounds and years worth of life savings siphoned away.

Some were left penniless and in debt after swindlers offered to help them sell their Spanish timeshares.

Of the 10-strong gang, six are from the Black Country and include two sets of brothers.

Seven members of the gang were jailed at Birmingham Crown Court for conspiracy to defraud, while three were given suspended sentences and community service.

In total, 38 people were duped out of £1m between February 2011 and April 2013.

Conspirators would phone up victims and tell them their timeshares could be sold but a fee had to be paid, the court had previously been told. Victims were told they had to pay tax and legal fees while at the same time being promised an increased payout on their properties.

Found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and pleaded guilty to money laundering:

Emma Jelf, 44, from Shenstone Avenue, Stourbridge, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Conspiracy to defraud:

Luke Jiminez, 25, of Atlantic Road, Kingstanding, was sentenced to eight years in prison. Found guilty.

Amarjit Bagharian, 29, of St Albans Road, Smethwick. Seven years and two months jail. Pleaded guilty

Shivjit Bagharian, St Albans Road, Smethwick. Seven years and two months. Pleaded guilty.

Todd Mann, 27, Shenstone avenue, Stourbridge. Five years and four months. Pleaded guilty.

Richard Buxton, 60, Hom View, Shenstone. Five years, seven months. Pleaded guilty.

Mandy Castellain, 46, from Oldham. Six years and seven months. Pleaded guilty.

Money laundering:

Toby Mann, 23, from Shenstone Avenue, Stourbridge, received an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, 150 hours community service and a 12-month supervision order. Pleaded guilty.

David Baylie, 28, of Chatterton Walk, Kidderminster, was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months and 170 hours community service. Pleaded guilty.

Judge Roderick Henderson told Birmingham Crown Court: "The common theme among the victims are feelings of humiliation and stupidity.

"One victim lost £172,000, her life savings. Another, who was 78, was hoping to pay off her mortgage, but now she'll have to continue to work. In this case, the victims owned their timeshares and were trying to sell them for a reasonable price.

"Your group repeatedly went after some of the victims. You went back to them again and again when others in the group had already defrauded them.

"You told them that, for a fee, you would help their problems go away.

"You will have known that your victims were elderly and vulnerable. There were 38 victims and all of them were of old age, it was fraud on a large scale. It started off with them being cold called. You told the victims if they didn't pay you they would be subject of legal action."

The swindle also involved the setting up of two companies, Sun Property Solutions and Avon Client Services. More people were recruited to the group so their bank accounts could be used to launder cash.

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