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Barkingside fraudster jailed after admitting to £35m land scam

PUBLISHED: 16:23 08 March 2013 | UPDATED: 16:23 08 March 2013

A Barkingside fraudster has been jailed after conning investors out of £35million through a land banking scam.

Working under the guise of gym membership salesmen from a Canary Wharf headquarters, he was part of a gang that duped more than 400 people into buying worthless plots of land between 2005 and 2010.

Defendants Daniel Webster, 29, Stephen Allan, 38 and Steven Ronald Percival, 29 – all of Bromley - were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court in one of the largest criminal fraud cases ever brought before the courts by a local authority.

Christopher Demetriou, 30. of Cranbourne Gardens, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud investors before the seven week trial began.

He was sentenced to six years and four months in prison. Webster and Percival were handed six-and-a-half year jail terms and Allan was sentenced for seven-and-a-half years.

Det Insp Simon Pollock of the Metropolitan Police said: “Innocent investors were exploited for the personal financial gain of those convicted.

“We will now be using our powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure they are stripped of their criminal benefit and victims are compensated as far as possible.”

Demetriou was also handed a 10 year disqualification from being a company director, with Webster, Allan and Percival given eight year bans.

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