Merseyside Police are welcoming a confiscation order issued against a Southport man following his conviction for fraud last year.
61-year-old Stephen Bottomley of Westcliffe Road, Birkdale was sentenced last December after he pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation.
The order, for £12,530.77, was issued at Liverpool Crown Court late last week. Bottomley now has three months to pay or he will face a year in prison. The court then made a compensation order for £17,000 (including the above amount to the victim).
Bottomley befriended a vulnerable woman in her 60s, before obtaining a large amount of her money and persuading her to transfer properties she owned into his name.
Bottomley, who set up online access to the victims bank accounts, claimed he was assisting her with her financial affairs and the maintenance of her three properties. As well as the properties, he also transferred over £12,000 of her cash into his own bank accounts.
Detective Constable Mike Doyle, from Merseyside Police’s Economic Crime Team, said: “Bottomley is a scheming and calculating individual who, further to his conviction last year, will now be forced to pay back this significant amount of ill-gotten money to his victim or face the prospect of jail.”
“He targeted a vulnerable woman and betrayed her trust for his own financial gain, persuading her that he would take care of the maintenance of her properties and her financial affairs.”
“Thankfully, Bottomley’s crimes were brought to light and we were able to put him before the courts and safeguard the victim. Her properties have now rightfully been returned to her and she is receiving support. Hopefully the court's decision helps this process.”
“I would like to reassure the public that if you believe you are the victim of any kind of fraud, help is available and all reports will be taken extremely seriously and investigated thoroughly.”
If someone believes they have fallen victim to any kind of fraud contact Action Fraud via their website:
www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 101 or the confidential Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.