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21 February 2013, 17:23
Four members of a gang from Greater Manchester who stole two million pounds worth of TVs and laptops have been jailed for a total of 16 years.
The group tricked firms by saying they were bosses from McDonalds and Greggs, ordering goods through fake email accounts
The scam ended up costing the companies they targeted £20 million, even putting one firm into liquuidation.
Using fake email addresses of genuine employees they managed to get credit and millions of pounds worth of goods.
The items was delivered to addresses in Manchester and Cheshire, but never paid for.
Only a small amount have ever been recovered.
Daniel Pomeroy, from Oldham, admitted conspiracy to defraud and James Chapman, of Sycamore Avenue, Chadderton, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud.
Daniel's uncle, Kevin Pomeroy of Stamford Drive, Failsworth, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud and one count of money laundering.
Kevin's wife Julie Pomeroy , also of Stamford Drive, Failsworth, pleaded guilty to money laundering.
Daniel and Kevin Pomeroy were both arrested after a high speed car chase on the M60 motorway in Manchester. You can watch the police video below:
Kevin Pomeroy was sentenced to a total of eight and a half years in prison, Chapman to three years, Daniel Pomeroy to three and a half years which includes an 18-month sentence for a separate fraud offence and Julie Pomeroy to 12 months, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work.
Kevin and Julie used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle far beyond their legitimate means of income, which included a plush home in Failsworth, a rented holiday home in Spain, purchasing jewellery and rare and expensive sports memorabilia, dental veneers, high-powered cars and extravagant amounts of money spent on christening and other events.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Pester, Senior Investigating Officer, said: "One of the biggest problems facing the UK right now is this sort of impersonation or hijacking of corporate identities, which is costing the economy millions of pounds every year.
"This organised crime group successfully obtained £3m worth of goods, and if they had succeeded with every fraud would have pocketed just shy of £20m worth.
"That is a staggering amount and if you consider this sort of scam could be happening across the UK, the cost to the economy is eye-watering.
"Not only that but it feeds the black market which puts genuine retailers out of business as these goods find their way into peoples homes.
"This gang went to meticulous lengths to research genuine employees of blue-chip firms and present a veneer of respectability. Using extremely plausible scenarios, they fooled a number of companies who had no reason to suspect the orders were anything other than legitimate.
"Sadly, some of the companies who were scammed did not do enough research once the fradulent orders were placed and were taken in by the promise of a big pay day thinking they were dealing with such blue-chip companies.
"We would therefore urge any businesses who receive such orders to know your customers. In times of austerity, you cannot afford to fall victim to this sort of scam so please, do your research before you commit to anything.
"We do not know where the stolen goods were fenced onto, but they would almost certainly have been resold in large quantities. Because they were obtained for nothing, even if the goods were resold for less than their market value the gang were still making massive profits which is evidenced in the lavish lifestyle the Pomeroy's led.
"Their legitimate means of income would not even come close to the tens of thousands they forked out on cars, plasma TVs, jewellery, sports memorabilia, holidays, rented apartments in Spain and Jacuzzis in the back garden they really were living a life of Riley.
"But let's be clear - despite the sophistication of their scam this still boils down to theft and in the end, they were not clever enough to avoid capture, or prison."