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Company director conned £3m out of clients to fund lavish lifestyle

Company director conned £3m out of clients to fund lavish lifestyle

Duncan Grant, 54, deceived clients out of more than £3m to fund his lavish lifestyle. (Kent Police)

Duncan Grant, 54, deceived clients out of more than £3m to fund his lavish lifestyle. (Sussex Police)

A company director who deceived clients out of more than £3 million to fund his lavish lifestyle has been jailed for over 12 years.

Duncan Grant, 54, spent money on holidays, jewellery and luxury rented homes and cars.

Police said Grant conned people into giving him money by befriending them and then latching on to something in common, whether true or fictitious, to build a closer relationship.

He further used his parents’ illnesses to gain sympathy from his victims, claiming he needed financial assistance to care for them, they added.

Grant, of Crowborough was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court, in East Sussex, on 1 June after pleading guilty to a series of fraud and directorship offences.

View of the Lewes Crown Court, a courthouse in Lewes, East Sussex, England.

Duncan Grant was jailed at Lewes Crown Court in East Sussex. (Getty)

Over six years, Grant orchestrated a complex and large-scale fraud operation, convincing numerous individuals to invest in his cash-spoiling device company, Patronus, and in purchasing ATMs to recondition, Sussex Police said.

This was a legitimate enterprise but he invested only a fraction of the money he received into the company and did not purchase any ATMs, the force added.

Of the approximate £3.8million collected, just £549,000 was used by the company.

An investigation by Surrey Police and Sussex Police’s Economic Crime Unit (ECU) into Grant’s fraudulent activity began in December 2019 after several victim reports were made to Sussex Police.

It revealed he had previously been bankrupt and changed his name twice before being made bankrupt again, all while acting as a director of 16 companies.

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Officers, analysts and partner agencies, including the Insolvency Service and HM Passport Office, worked through mobile phones, iPads, laptops, and around 2,500 emails and 3,000 paper exhibits to uncover the intricacies of Grant’s actions, police said.

The ECU were able to demonstrate the back-and-forth layering of the monies between Grant’s accounts, done to make tracing the routes of the funds difficult.

Grant was charged with 18 counts of fraud and 18 counts of directorship offences in October 2021 and has now been sentenced to 12 years and six months imprisonment.

Detective Constable Fleur Jones, of the Surrey and Sussex Economic Crime Unit, said: “Grant lived a life that many could only dream of, using other people’s money that they had invested in him in good faith, thinking he was either using it to develop a business or that he was helping his elderly parents.”

  • June 24, 2023