Fraudsters jailed for massive phone scam

Two fraudsters who conned schools and businesses out of hundreds of thousands of pounds with a fake telephone scam have been jailed.

Daniel Cullen, 28 and Daniel Buttle, 32, are behind bars for duping organisations including Stevenage residential home Martins House, into changing analogue phone lines to digital at huge cost.

The pair set up an elaborate scam in which sales reps cold-called companies across Herts and neighbouring counties in 2008 and 2009 implying they were from BT. They then convinced bosses the switchover was covered by a government grant and would be free.

But none of this was true and those who took up the offer were tied into long and expensive hire contracts. The fraud cost Martins House over �20,000.

Cullen and Buttle of Hatfield and Bishop’s Stortford received three years and 18 months respectively at St Albans Crown Court on Monday after pleading guilty to the scam.

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Richard Thake, community safety portfolio holder at Herts County Council which brought the action against the two men, said: “The court has imposed a sentence which reflects the seriousness of this disgraceful scam. This was a confidence trick taking advantage of people’s trust in a well-known company.”

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