A Peterborough businessman conned an acquaintance out of thousands of pounds in a fake business proposition, a court has been told.
It is alleged Mark Speechley (48) of Albert Crescent, Hampton, Peterborough, is alleged to have promised pub landlord Norman Rose a profit in a business deal selling a container of paper - but the deal never happened.
Speechley appeared at Peterborough Crown Court today (Monday) for the start of his trial. He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud.
Charles Snelling, prosecuting, told the seven women and five men making up the jury that Speechley had known Mr Rose for more than 30 years,
He said: “This was a false business venture, The Crown say it never existed.
“In July 2014 the pair had not seen each other for three or four years. Mr Rose was managing the Black Horse Pub in Elton.
“The defendant came into the pub, and said he was importing paper from China for £10,000 and then selling it on for a £3,000 profit.
“Mr Rose was looking for a business venture, and they agreed they would put in 50 per cent, and split the profit.”
Mr Snelling said the pair met with an accountant, and a company was incorporated.
He said money was transferred into Mr Speechley’s account on August 19.
Mr Snelling told the jury Speechley then said there was another deal available, involving two containers. Mr Rose asked his partner Alison Auckland, who also agreed to put money into the venture.
Mr Snelling said that when police investigated Speechley’s accounts, the discovered ‘normal spending.’
He said: “There were no withdrawals of money for the purposes of the venture - just normal spending from the account.
“When you look at the accounts, there was an awful lot of online gambling at the time.
“He was in difficult financial circumstances at the time.”
The court was told Speechley denies any inappropriate behaviour, and said his contact had ran off with the money.
The trial continues.