Three People Sentenced for Part in Boiler Room Scam
Monday, 8th October, 2012
Three people have been sentenced today for their part in a conspiracy to money launder thousands of pounds. Roy Harris, 78 years old of Waterdale Drive, Whitefield in Manchester, Kimberly Harris, 54 years old of Kirkby Street in London, and Sandra Phipps, 70 years old of Bolling Road, Ilkley, were all arrested last year and charged for their part in a 'boiler room' scam which was uncovered following an investigation by West Yorkshire Police's Economic Crime Unit.
The three were involved in the scam which sees elderly and vulnerable people being targeted in a highly pressured way to buy shares in reputable companies and banks. Victims are phoned and offered a limited time offer which they believe are genuine - they then deposit money over the phone to a bank account which is often abroad. Fourteen victims from across the United Kingdom were identified during the investigation and an estimated total of over £120,000 was found to have been taken from them all.
Harris, Harris and Phipps were arrested following that investigation.
Roy Harris was given a 15 month sentence for conspiracy to money launder.
Sandra Phipps was given a six month sentence for conspiracy to money launder - this has been suspended for 12 months. She has also been given a 30 day community order.
Kimberly Harris was given a six month sentence for conspiracy to money launder - this has been suspended for 12 months.
DC Joanne Hind from the Economic Crime Unit (ECU) said: "We are pleased that these three people have been found guilty of conspiracy to money launder and have been given prison sentences - two of which have been suspended.
This has been a sensitive case to deal with and victims have lost their live savings. Fortunately those convicted have been dealt with by the courts and punished accordingly.
I would urge people not to hand out their personal details over the phone unless you are absolutely sure of who you are speaking to."
There are some simple questions you can ask the caller to verify who they are:
Callers should be asked for the name of their company - this can then be checked up using an internet search engine.
You should also ask for their FSA (Financial Services Authority) number.
Ask if they have any further information available such as references from other satisfied clients which can be verified.
If you are in any doubt then don't hand over any money and contact the Police via 101 to advise them of your concerns.
For more advice and support you can visit the Action Fraud website - www.actionfraud.org.uk.