A fraudster who used multiple emails, bank accounts and different aliases to con 10 victims out of a total of £34,821 has been jailed.
The victims across the United Kingdom were contacted by conman David Aves after they looked to purchase a number of farming machinery online.
The incidents between November 2019 and November 2020 saw the victims handing thousands of pounds online to Aves for tractors, diggers and machinery, but the machines never arrived.
One victim responded to an advert placed online in which a tractor was offered for sale.
Aves contacted him under an alias name and convinced him to pay money online for that machine and another. The victim paid a sum total of £12,000, but never received any of the machines despite assurances that they would be delivered.
Meanwhile a second victim responded to an online advert for a tractor for sale. The victim handed over £5,100 into Aves’ bank account and when arrangements were made to take possession of the vehicle, it never materialised.
In nine of the ten incidents Aves gave excuses as to why the product couldn’t be delivered or collected, before ceasing contact with the victim.
He used different aliases, six different bank accounts, five mobile phone numbers and two different email addresses, but was never met in person by any of the victims.
Aves went to great effort to try and disguise his identity and avoid detection.
Victims reported the offences to the police and officers from Nottinghamshire Police were able to identify Aves by linking him to the bank accounts that had received the victims’ money.
A warrant was executed at Aves’ home address on 15 December 2020 and although not present he was swiftly located at a premises nearby and arrested.
Aves, 62, of Ragdale Road in Bulwell pleaded guilty to nine counts of fraud by false representation and one count of theft of motor vehicle and was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday (16 March 2021).
Detective Inspector Ed Cook from the force’s Economic Crime & Cyber Unit said: “Aves managed to convince 10 different victims, which shows how easy it is to become the victim.
“We work hard to protect the residents of Nottinghamshire and across the United Kingdom from fraud, because they deserve not to have their hard-earned money taken away from them under false pretenses.
“I would encourage anyone who may have had a similar experience to come forward and talk to us.
“I would like to praise all the officers and staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure that this complex investigation reached court, especially DC Mark Holmes who was the officer who led the investigation, showing such tenacity and determination in this case.
“The whole team showed great dedication to ensure the charges. It’s been a fantastic effort all round.
“Nottinghamshire Police takes fraud and financial abuse seriously and is committed to investigating reports of this kind. We recognise the wide-reaching effects this type of crime has on the victim and the wider community.”