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COVID-19 vaccine fraudster jailed

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A fraudster has been jailed at Kingston Crown Court today for pretending to offer a 92-year-old victim a COVID vaccine in exchange for money.

On 30 December 2020, David Chambers visited the home of his 92-year-old victim at a time when Tier 3 restrictions prohibited social contact between different households. He claimed that he was there to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to the victim, exploiting her expectation of eligibility under the vaccination programme - as a result of her age, she was part of a high-risk group. Chambers pretended to administer a vaccine and then demanded a cash payment of around £140, to cover the vaccine cost. The victim paid an amount to Chambers. She later realised that he must have been a fraudster and reported the matter to the police.

On 4 January 2021, Chambers returned to the victim’s home and demanded a further £100 in payment of the first dose of the vaccine. She wisely refused to pay, on this occasion and alerted the police once Chambers had left her house.

City of London Police used CCTV and phone location evidence to identify Chambers as the perpetrator of the offences. He was arrested on the 13 of January.

Chambers, 33, was sentenced to a total of 42 months at Kingston Crown Court today. On 22 June, Chambers had pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation and one count of assault by battery.

Maryam Arnott, for the CPS, said: “David Chambers has a criminal history of exploiting elderly people. On this occasion, he used fears generated by the pandemic to cynically extract funds from a 92-year-old woman. He also placed someone in a high-risk category at risk of COVID transmission, at a time when Tier 3 restrictions were in force.

“The CPS and City of London Police presented a strong case against Chambers, and he eventually admitted being responsible for all three offences.

"The CPS is committed to bringing fraudsters, including those who have exploited the COVID-19 pandemic for their own gain, to justice.”

Notes to editors

  • Maryam Arnott is a Senior Legal Manager for the CPS Specialist Fraud Division  
  • The Specialist Fraud Division is a dedicated CPS team playing a leading role in the fight against serious and complex economic crime and the financial exploitation of the public, using specialist legal expertise to deliver justice  
  • The CPS Economic Crime Strategy is available on our website  
  • David Chambers (D.O.B.: 23/08/1987) was sentenced to a total of 42 months' imprisonment for two counts of fraud by false representation and one count of battery.

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