A Cambridgeshire man who lived an “extravagant lifestyle” on the tens of thousands of pounds he defrauded from local businesses has been jailed.
Andrew Chatters, 39, of Main Street in Witchford, Ely, conned victims by various means including fraudulently obtaining and using a credit card, persuading victims to invest large sums of money and signing credit agreements.
In total he took £87,948.54 from his victims, of which more than £20,000 was from just one.
Chatters, a former Ely City and Chatteris Town footballer, was found guilty of 13 charges of fraud by false representation and one charge of theft and was sentenced to two years in prison at Huntingdon Crown Court on Friday (March 4).
The sentence will be added to a three-year sentence which he is currently serving for cheating the public revenue contrary to common law for £69,076.
Detective Constable Paul Atkinson, who investigated, said: “Andrew Chatters believed he had a right to sign finance agreements, trade accounts and cheques in other people’s names, claiming that the person had given him authority to do so.
“He had no boundaries to who he would commit fraud against and enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle on other people’s money. He would befriend many of his victims with his money-making schemes which included building a stable in Newmarket.
“I would like to thank all involved in these cases for their persistence and patience in getting this complex fraud investigation to court.”
Chatters committed the following offences:
* Tattersalls in Newmarket between October 24 and 27, 2011 – signing cheques to the value of £20,640 that he was not authorised to sign in order to purchase six race horses.
* Horse Requisites in Newmarket on October 1, 2012 – opening a trade account in another person’s name by forging their signature and gaining products to the value of £2,839.21.
* Newmarket Plant Hire on May 1, 2013 – opening a trade account in another person’s name by forging their signature and gaining products to the value of £13,400. At the same time, Chatters committed theft by hiring a Kubota Track Excavator to the value of £27,000 which has never been returned.
* Alan’s Ark in Soham on February 28, 2013 – using another person’s credit card to obtain products without their authority to the value of £971.60.
* The Cadogen Hotel in Newmarket between March 1 and 5, 2013 – using another person’s credit card to obtain rooms to the value of £865, without their authority.
* Jewsons in Ely on May 3, 2013 – opening a trade account in another’s name by forging their signature and gaining products to the value of £5,000, as well as a further offence on May 23, 2013 by spending a further £5,276.
* Travis Perkins in Ely on June 6, 2013 – opening a trade account in another person’s name by forging their signature and gaining products to the value of £10,176.73.
* Global Self-drive in Peterborough on September 25, 2013 – after hiring a van, sub-renting it without the company’s permission and obtaining £1,360 from the new hirer.
* V12 Finance on September 25, 2013 – opening a finance agreement in another person’s name by forging their signature to obtain personalised golf clubs to the value of £375.99.