Postmaster helps nab £1.3k con man
DETECTIVE work by a post mistress helped catch a fraudster with fistfuls of dodgy foreign bank notes.
After Painswick sub-postmaster Karen Judd was ripped off by con man Damien Fell, she handed over his paperwork to police, who matched it with his fingerprints.
When they caught Fell, who admitted defrauding sub-post offices in Painswick, Paganhill, and Worcestershire they discovered worthless or devalued Mexican, Polish and Uruguayan bank notes, false passports and forged Post Office forms in his car, Gloucester Crown Court heard.
"He called himself Mr Roberts and was very convincing," said Mrs Judd. "We did all the checks we are supposed to but it turned out the Bulgarian Levs he swapped for sterling were out of date. I kept all the paperwork and when our local PCSO came in and I mentioned what had happened, he asked for it, and that helped catch him."
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The 29-year-old Birmingham student also admitted four offences of possessing articles for fraud – Bulgarian currency, false currency order confirmation forms, two passports, and a laptop computer programmed with a template for the currency forms.
Julian Kesner, prosecuting, said on July 1, 2010 Fell obtained £448 by exchanging worthless Bulgarian Lev notes and using a forged foreign currency order confirmation form and a passport in the name of Nicholas Roberts at Painswick. Later that day he went to Paganhill post office and, using the same methods, exchanged devalued Levs for £461. With a similar crime at Lower Broadheath, the total fraudulently obtained amounted to £1,364.02 – borne by the sub-post offices.
He was arrested after attempting to defraud a Cornish sub-post office. Police found 20 false currency order confirmation sheets, a credit card in the name of ND Roberts and quantities of devalued Mexican, Polish and Uruguayan bank notes in his rented car.
Fell was sentenced to 28 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, ordered to do 150 hours' unpaid work and to undergo supervision for 12 months. He must pay compensation totalling £1,364.02.