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Telecoms fraudsters jailed for 15 years 28 April 2011

The fraudsters behind Great Yarmouth-based Business Telecom, which was liquidated in 2009, tied 52 victims into long term contracts by giving the impression that they were resellers for British Telecom.

The directors secured lucrative commissions and were found guilty of defrauding organisations to net thousands of pounds.

Its chairman, Christopher Boughton-Fox, 48, formerly of Thorpe St Andrew, near Norwich, was jailed for seven years at Ipswich Crown Court.

Jamie Playford, an insolvency practitioner at Parker Andrews, was appointed as Boughton-Fox’s trustee in bankrupty, on Boughton-Fox’s own petition, in November last year.

Boughton-Fox has three properties including a  £1.5m home he bought in 2007. The property has since been repossessed and sold by Lloyds Banking Group, with a shortfall of around £427,000. It is believed the remaining homes are buy-to-let units.

Boughton-Fox’s bankruptcy is complicated by a freezing order on his assets obtained by Trading Standards before he was made bankrupt.

The former chairman is now behind bars with fellow directors including Jonathan Parish, 42, of The Hills, Reedham, near Great Yarmouth, who was jailed for five and a half years.

Neil Debenham, 28, of East Somerton, near Caister, was jailed for three years.
All were convicted of conspiring to defraud businesses and individuals between 2003 and 2008.

A fourth employee, Daniel Cullen, 28, of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, had previously admitted conspiracy to defraud and will be sentenced at St Albans Crown Court at a later date.

The typical cost of a lease agreement that Business Telecom offered businesses saw victims paying on average £21,000 over a seven-year period.



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