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Sentenced

Ashford fraudster who posed as a courier but failed to deliver is jailed

Ashford fraudster who posed as a courier but failed to deliver is jailed

More than a dozen people were ripped off by a fraudster in Ashford who took money for courier services but never delivered the goods.

David McPherson, 49 of Sir John Fogge Avenue, Ashford was jailed for a year after admitting to multiple fraud offences when he registered as a courier under a false name on an internet bidding company in 2016.

The site enables the public to request removals, collections and deliveries and accept the best rate from a number of local registered couriers who can bid for the work.

McPherson had stolen identity documents from another man and set up as a registered courier under his name on the bidding site. He ran his illegitimate transport service from a room he rented at a residential address in Canterbury Road, Ashford.

The court heard how, whilst trading under a false identity, McPherson offered low prices to customers in order to win bids for his transport services. This secured him the work, for which he was paid up front.

It was later discovered that between 7 October 2016 and 13 October 2016 he had defrauded several people by picking up their deliveries but never dropping them off to their final destinations. On some occasions he didn’t even pick up the items from the victims in the first place.

When he didn’t show up or deliver the goods he gave excuses that his van had broken down and offered them a refund. 

The refunds never materialised and victims were left chasing him for their money back. He then went on to claim his online banking wasn’t working before disappearing altogether leaving them frustrated and out of pocket.

After the first incident was reported to Kent Police on 13 October other victims were identified. The bank account connected to all the transactions was registered to McPherson and not the name of the man whose identity he had stolen. As such he was arrested in January 2017 and his business and van was searched.

Officers collected enough evidence and witness statements to charge him with 14 counts of fraud. He later admitted to them and was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on Tuesday 4 December.

Investigating officer PC James Loft said: ‘McPherson went out of his way to deceive innocent customers in order to make money without doing any work. He clearly planned to carry out the fraud when he set up his business under a false name. The victims of his deception never got their goods back either which were stolen, lost or disposed of.’

For advice on fraud and how to report it visit https://www.kent.police.uk/advice/fraud/

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