Jail for Claygate fraudster Simon Maxwell chasing Olympic 'gold'

Jail for Claygate fraudster chasing Olympic 'gold'

Guilty plea: Simon Maxwell

Trying to trace: Michael James Barry

Robert Bruce: Police looking

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

A Claygate fraudster who tried to cash in on the Olympics has been jailed for five years.

Simon Maxwell, 45, of Mountview Road, advertised properties online, targeting people looking for accommodation during this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Using the pseudonym Anthony Perry, Maxwell became the director of a property company called Short Lettings London ltd, and used a legitimate holiday rental website to advertise properties for rent.

People were tricked into paying a 50 per cent deposit toward the property, which was in fact not available to rent and, once paid, never heard from the company again.

Police were alerted to the issue by the holiday rental website, which had received several complaints from customers all over the world.

Detectives from Operation Podium were already carrying out an investigation in relation to Maxwell and a different scam relating to the illegal advertising and sale of tickets for Olympic and Paralympic Games, where officers believe Maxwell was working with another man.

Police believe more than £278,000 was conned from victims through both businesses, which was used to fund a lifestyle of rental cars and houses.

Mr Maxwell was arrested on July 10 and pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud on September 21 at Kingston Crown Court.

Police are still looking to trace two other men in connection with this case, Robert Bruce, 56, and Michael James Barry, 59.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Operation Podium on podiumenquiries@met.pnn.police.uk or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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