A man accused of an elaborate scam to defraud train companies out of thousands of pounds has appeared in court.
Thomas Ingram is alleged to have studied train journeys across the country and produced fake tickets to claim compensation for delayed and cancelled services.
READ MORE: Transport Secretary promises end of troubled Northern rail franchise as fares rise by 2.7 per cent
The 36-year-old, of Cheltenham Road, North Shore, made claims worth more than £150,000, Blackpool Magistrates' Court heard, and received around £55,000.
He faces nine charges linked to an alleged long-term fraud, for which he used Blackpool South station as his base.
He made his first appearance in court today (January 8), when prosecutor Tracey Yates said: "It is alleged Ingram used weaknesses in the companies’ refund system from
late and cancelled trains.
“He had a system whereby he tracked these delayed and cancelled trains.
"He is said to have created fake tickets and filled in claim forms to go with them. Over two years he claimed £150,000 and he received £55,000.”
The companies named in the charges are Northern Rail, Cross Country Trains, East Midland Trains, Greater Anglia Trains, Great Western Railways, Virgin East Coat, Virgin West Coast, Southern Trains and London North East Railways.
The case will be heard at Preston Crown Court. Ingram was bailed pending his appearance at the higher court.
The prosecution was brought by the British Transport Police.