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Jail for caravan conman

Sept 27 2012 Indsendt af Laura Canning

A man has been jailed for fraud in Plymouth after stealing almost £60,000 in his role as head of Plymouth Caravan Centre in Plympton.

Shaun Cole, who admitted 13 charges of fraud relating both to customers and an insurance company, was sentenced to 31 months in prison at Plymouth Crown Court.

Jason Beal, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said that those defrauded had lost sums from £561 to £9,000.

He explained how Cole sold caravans at the centre on behalf of their owners, agreeing to take a five per cent commission from the sale price. He also charged vendors to service the tourers.

But in some cases owners were not notified that their caravans had sold, with Cole pocketing the money. Additionally, he told some customers that their tourers had sold for less and kept the difference, and overcharged others for their caravans being serviced.

The insurance fraud related to an incident in June 2007, when 14 caravans were damaged at the centre and Cole kept the insurance payment of almost £11,000. 

Cole was made bankrupt in 2008 and the Official Receiver subsequently alerted the police.