Man awaits sentencing after property fraud trial

A 46-year-old man is awaiting sentence after being been found guilty of property-related fraud.

He had swindled companies out of £461,146 in an elaborate scheme involving non-existent property and land development deals.

Jason Lee Churchill, of Harrogate, was found guilty of three counts of fraud by false representation following a three-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

The jury heard how in 2009 he negotiated with companies and individuals to buy their properties through his company Bridge Properties (Yorkshire).

He not only negotiated on the sale price but asked for an additional ‘vendor gifted deposit’ which gave him an extra discount on the price.

He arranged for the monies to be deposited in separate bank accounts until the arranged deals completed, but asked for the ‘vendor gifted deposits’ to be released to him earlier.

The police investigation began in 2009 when police received information and complaints from the victims.

Graham Wragg, fraud manager in South Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “This has been a protracted and complex investigation, involving significant sums of money and multiple complainants.

“Churchill was a skilled manipulator and influencer, convincing individuals and businesses to agree to hand over hundreds of thousands of pounds for scam property and land development deals that didn’t exist.

“Instead, he used the money to dig himself out of financial trouble with the authorities.

“Churchill has consistently denied all allegations put to him, despite overwhelming evidence and witness testimony. We are indebted to the witnesses’ perseverance throughout our investigation and the trial.

“Without their continued support, we may not have been able to bring this case to such a successful conclusion.”

Churchill will be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on December 19.


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