Benington man used his mother's death to defraud elderly victims out of £1.4m

PUBLISHED: 17:14 12 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:14 12 June 2019

Marios Demetriou, of Three Stiles in Benington, defrauded elderly victims out of more than £1 million - spending the money on gambling. Pictures: Getty Images/Fuse, Herts police

Marios Demetriou, of Three Stiles in Benington, defrauded elderly victims out of more than £1 million - spending the money on gambling. Pictures: Getty Images/Fuse, Herts police

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A 51-year-old man who defrauded elderly victims out of more than £1 million by telling them he needed to fight a court case relating to the murder of his mother has been jailed.

Marios Demetriou, of Three Stiles in Benington, befriended an elderly victim in 2012 - receiving several hundred thousands pounds from them, as well as encouraging to recruite their friends to help fund the bogus legal case. More than £1.4m was obtained through the fraud, which Demetriou spent on gambling.

He was arrested in January 2018 after his fraudulent activities were reported to the police, and sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty.

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Det Insp Rob Burns from Herts police's serious fraud and cyber unit, said: "Demetriou took advantage of his mother's death to ingratiate himself to his victims and then played on their sympathy. He exploited their good natures to extract money from them, that they have spent a lifetime saving and which was meant to sustain them in their retirement.

"Demetriou ran up significant gambling debts and used his victim's money to pay these debts and to continue his gambling addiction.

"This conviction will help to protect vulnerable people and also send a message to fraudsters that they cannot get away with targeting people in this way, it will end up with them serving a prison sentence."

If you believe you have been the victim of fraud you can contact the Herts police on non-emergency number 101 for advice. Alternatively you can report information online at herts.police.uk/Report or you can speak to an operator in the force communications room via an online web chat, which can be launched via herts.police.uk/Contact.

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