Saturday, May 05, 2007

Hue And Cry

It's straight out of an Ealing Comedy starring Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway:

A 13-year-old boy who lives with his gran... exposed as one of Britain's biggest internet conmen.. earned more than £250,000 ($607,000) by posing as the boss of several multinational companies selling vacuum cleaners, stationery and office supplies.

Many goods weren't sent, but he used the cash to revel in a luxury lifestyle way beyond his years: he wore designer suits, drank vintage champagne and travelled by chauffeur-driven limousine. He even employed a personal bodyguard, flew abroad on business trips and claimed he was going to buy a private jet.

A source close to the investigation said yesterday: "Despite coming from a relatively humble background, he became an outrageous snob. He claimed public transport was for commoners."
From its origins:

...after his mother died... He received a £16,000 ($38,000) inheritance, some of which he spent on crime books on the methods of successful conmen. Working from his bedroom at his grandmother's house in west London, he set up a website purporting to sell discounted plasma screen TVs. its denouement in which he faces jail and goes straight:

The court was told his latest project was a genuine online lingerie store.
...the entire tale would have fit right in with the producers of such Pommie classics as Whiskey Galore and The Lavender Hill Mob.

Best of all is the now 16 year old fraudster's closing line:

He conceded the idea of buying a private jet was "a bit silly - I was only 13 at the time".
-- Nick

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