ScamsFeb 6 2023

Scammer jailed over £2.7mn investment fraud

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Scammer jailed over £2.7mn investment fraud
Clint Canning has been jailed for nine years after being convicted of fraud (Pexels/Leeloo TheFirst)

A fraudster who ran a £2.7mn investment scam has been jailed for nine years.

Clint Canning, 45 of Barnston, also known as Christian Beauchamp and Clint Foster, was jailed for nine years and disqualified from being a director for 15 years for conspiracy to commit fraud at Southwark Crown Court. 

His wife, Eleise Wallace, 37, also of Barnston, was also found guilty of money laundering for her part in the scam.

She was given a two-year suspended sentence for two years in prison, and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, as well as being disqualified from being a director for five years.

The pair defrauded 175 victims, 60 per cent of whom were above the age of 50, according to a statement by the City of London Police on Friday (February 3).

Canning participated in the setting up of Base2Trade, which claimed to offer investments in the binary options market between 2014 and 2015.

Binary options are a form of fixed-odds betting, where if an investor correctly predicts an event they win a return, and if they are wrong they lose their full investment.

The company was shut down in 2015.

Nearly all of those who invested in the scam were cold-called, with information about the company followed up by a letter or email that promised a “realistic earning potential” of between £1,126 and £2,250 in weekly profit, with an 88.3 per cent success rate.

Those who signed up were given login details to a platform which showed fake trades being made, however the City of London Police said there was no evidence to suggest the trades were ever placed. 

The platform erroneously showed the “investments” performing well, and investors were then called repeatedly by Base2Trade with request for further investment.

Wallace received investors’ money directly into her personal bank account, and the pair spent it on funding their own lavish lifestyle.

One victim invested £99,000 to increase their income post-retirement and received no return on their investment.

Canning was arrested at London City Airport in February 2016, and Wallace was arrested as she attempted to leave the country in November 2015.

She is believed to have known that the money entering her personal bank account was fraudulent and was involved in the laundering of the funds.

Detective inspector Gareth Dothie, from the fraud operations team at the City of London Police, said it had been a lengthy and complex investigation.

“Canning was previously convicted for fraud and had a lifetime ban from being a director of a company.

"He has shown himself to be a career criminal and in this instance worked alongside his wife to defraud people and spend innocent victims’ money on their own lifestyle.