Blackpool conman who cheated punters out of more than £200,000 is not able to pay his victims back

Despite cheating punters out of more than £200,000 a Blackpool conman has just £6,000 to his name, a court heard.

Tuesday, 2nd July 2019, 9:31 am
Christopher Beek

Christopher Beek had promised to pay back every penny he had obtained with his phoney betting scheme.

Beek, 36,of Burlington Road, Blackpool, had been jailed for five years and ten months in April after he had pleaded guilty to charges of defrauding four people over a three-year period.

The court heard he had used a string of false identities to cheat punters out of more than £200,000 through scams including gambling syndicates and shares in racehorses.

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Christopher Beek

Crooked Beek, who made some payments to keep his victims hooked, even posed as a private detective supposedly to help them get their money back – for a fee.

But his final deception, claiming he could raise the money to repay the losers, was exposed as just another lie.

Judge Andrew Lockhart QC, at Warwick Crown Court, observed that he had conned his victims out of around £204,000 – and, after they had received some returns to keep them hooked, there was £164,315 outstanding.

And at a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing following a financial investigation, prosecutor Jabeen Akhtar told the judge: “We have been able to agree the figures.”

She said Beek’s only assets from which compensation could be paid under the Act amounted to just £6,089.95.

Of that, £6,057 was the amount he had in an Aviva pension plan on which it would be possible to get an early release, and a car on which there was equity of just £32.95.

So Judge Lockhart ordered £6,089.95 to be confiscated - and ordered it to be paid by September 7, in default of which Beek will have to serve an additional five month in jail, after which he would still have to pay up.

And the judge remarked to Beek’s barrister Simon Worlock: “We remind ourselves that at one stage your client was offering to repay the whole amount. That gives us an insight into his level of dishonesty.”

The court had heard that after leaving school Beek had worked as a stable boy for ex-footballer and racehorse trainer Mick Channon, but an injury dashed his hope of becoming a jockey, and he instead set up as a trainer.