Ritz conman jailed for 5 years
12:30pm 27th July 2010
A Yorkshire Con Man who led a £250 million pound fraud scam to sell London's Ritz Hotel has been jailed for 5 years
49 year old Anthony Lee, was alleged to have targeted Terrence Collins, who was funded by Dutch financier Marcus Boerkhoorn, because of his interest in acquiring so-called “trophy properties”.
He spun a web of lies to the victim by claiming he was on close personal and professional terms with the brothers who own The Ritz, Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay.
He managed to obtain a million pounds by deception and was convicted earlier this month.
The case was referred to North Yorkshire Police, via the High Court and through the Insolvency Agency in April 2008, as Lee was based in North Yorkshire at the time.
The result follows a painstaking investigation by North Yorkshire Police’ Major Fraud Investigation Team, in particular by the officer in the case Detective Sergeant Garry Ridler.
DS Ridler said: “The successful conviction of Anthony Lee is the culmination of an extremely complex investigation which had been ongoing for over a year. Enquiries had to be carried out in both the UK and in Holland which certainly increased the difficulties in drawing together the evidence to secure the convictions.
“Therefore it is highly satisfying from a professional point of view to achieve this result. The sheer size and scale of the deception was truly unbelievable, and the fact it related to such a world-renowned business such as The Ritz made the investigation that bit more challenging.”
Explaining the background to the conspiracy, DS Ridler said: “Anthony Lee sucked in property developer Terence Collins with what he thought was the deal of a lifetime. And as fraudsters do, once he got a million pounds he went back for more by purporting to have access to the contracts for the sale of the hotel.
“Anthony Lee claimed to be a confidant and close business associate of the Barclay brothers, when in fact he had never met them or even spoken to them.
“Lee also claimed to be an affluent businessmen when in reality he was a bankrupt. He had started numerous property deals, however he had never successfully closed a single deal apart from the £1 million, subject of this case, that he obtained through lies and cheating.
“To put it bluntly, Anthony Lee had never made a single penny from his dealings in property.”
<Pictured Anthony Lee>
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