Fraudster jailed - Luton

26/10/2012

A vulnerable pensioner was fleeced of more than £20,000 by a man who said he was in line for a £2 million legacy but needed cash to unlock the money.

But in a bizarre twist, the fraudster, Nicholas Casson, had himself fallen for the same scam and been 'bled dry'. It is believed he targeted the 65-year-old woman he met at a mental health unit in order to send more cash out to Malaysia, trying to obtain the non existent money.

Casson, 59, of Brantwood Road, Luton pleaded guilty to stealing £20,500 from the woman and fraud and was jailed at Luton Crown Court on Friday, 26 October 2012, for 18-months.

Judge Marie Catterson said she had been sceptical that Casson himself had been duped, but extensive e-mail communications suggested he had.

But she said that once he had run out of money he 'cold bloodedly lied' to his victim to get more money.

Andrew Howarth, prosecuting said: "Casson began a relationship with the victim in November 2010 and told her he had been left a legacy in excess of £2 million but as it was overseas he needed to obtain certificates to have it moved to the UK.

"He said if she gave him £20,000 she would double her money and he would also buy her a house from the funds."

On five occasions she gave him cash that she withdrew from her bank. He phoned her daily reassuring her about how things were going.

"He told her he loved her and she was completely taken in and believed everything he told her," said the prosecutor.

On 26 November he went with her to her bank to discuss her taking out a bank loan for £30,000. He told the bank manager that the IMF needed the money so that £2 million could be released.

"The manager was immediately suspicious and spoke to the woman on her own and advised her to talk to her son. She did and police were called in," said Mr. Howarth.

Casson was arrested in September last year. He told them he had begun a relationship with an American woman on line and was in love with her. She put him in touch with her solicitor who told Casson that she would inherit a large fortune if she could prove she had fallen in love with a man who loved her for herself and not her money.

"This solicitor persuaded him that funds were neeed to purchase certificates for the IMF and then £2.8 million would be transferred to his bank account. He thought it was genuine," said the prosecutor.

Mr. Howarth said that extensive research of Casson's e-mails showed he had been bled dry and had clearly transferred money to Malaysia - about $12,000.

Andrew Corcut, defending said; "It is true that he was fully taken in. All the money he obtained from this lady was paid over to these other people. He is very sorry.

"He is a lonely man, desperate for companionship and a relationship and seems to think these people were going to provide that."

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