Conman jailed for Ritz hotel scam

2010-07-27 20:44

London - A British judge sentenced a conman to five years in jail on Tuesday after he was convicted of trying to sell London's famed Ritz hotel for £250m.

Anthony Lee, a 49-year-old unemployed lorry driver, was found guilty of an "elaborate and outrageous scam" in which he persuaded a property developer to hand over £1m as part of a fake deal to sell the hotel.

He had convinced potential buyer Terence Collins that he was a "close friend and associate" of the reclusive Barclay brothers, the billionaire owners of the world-famous Ritz hotel in Picadilly.

But Frederick and David Barclay had never heard of Lee and were unaware that he was trying to sell off their property, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Collins handed over the £1m, which was financed by a Dutch billionaire, to secure negotiations over the 2006 deal - but the sale never happened and the money was never returned.

Lee claimed in court that the cash related to a separate property deal he had with Collins, but a jury earlier this month found him guilty of obtaining the money by deception.

"You were found guilty by a jury of this elaborate and outrageous scam, purporting to sell the Ritz hotel, thereby obtaining £1m from your victim," Judge Stephen Robbins said, sentencing him.

Lee was cleared of conspiracy to defraud, as was his friend, Patrick Dolan, 68.

The pair's lawyer, Conn Farrell, 57, was also cleared of conspiracy.

Read more on:    uk
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Games on Sale!

Save up to 60% on selected games. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come back into focus. You may get a second chance to say what needs to be said. The important focus today is to not...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.