A man who conned three York businessmen out of £850,000 pleaded guilty to 13 counts of fraud at Southwark Crown Court this week.
His pleas follow a protracted enquiry by North Yorkshire Police’s Major Fraud Inquiry Team which began in 2009 following complaints by the owners of a York investment company.
Adam Adamou, 38 of 7 Kenning Road, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, also pleaded guilty to a further seven offences of fraud following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police, with a further five counts of fraud being ordered to remain on the file.
The businessmen had been approached to join a private concierge club, which assists entrepreneurs to invest and make money by buying and selling luxury goods.
They had meetings with Adamou, who was the head of sourcing for the concierge club. His role was to source expensive and rare items, including watches and luxury motor cars, such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Aston Martins.
Over time Adamou built up the trust of the complainants who placed significant investments with him, placing orders for motor vehicles, expensive watches and on some occasions list placement investments, where they would pay for list places for prestige cars hoping to sell them on for a profit when their place neared the top of the list.
Although Adamou got to know the complainants through the concierge club, he subsequently told them that he wanted to set up his own business and their payments were then made directly to his account rather than his employer’s.
Initially the victims received some goods, which only served to further build up their trust in Adamou. However as time progressed and more orders were placed, Adamou failed to deliver and it became apparent that he had stolen their money. The total value of the North Yorkshire offences came to £850,000.
Detective Inspector Ian Wills who heads the force’s Major Fraud and Financial Investigation Unit, said: “This is an excellent outcome for a very lengthy and complicated investigation. The success of the case is down to the diligence and determination of Fraud Investigator Detective Sergeant Garry Ridler.
“The case sends a clear message that crime does not pay and it is foolish to assume that you can get away with such an audacious crime.”
Adamou was arrested for the North Yorkshire offences in October 2010, he was charged to York Magistrates’ court to appear in March 2012, the case was subsequently transferred to Southwark.
He has been remanded in custody with sentencing due to take place at Southwark Crown Court on 3 October 2012.