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PAIR TARGETED THE DESPERATE IN SCAM.

Byline: Matt Lloyd STAFF REPORTER

A CONMAN who netted nearly PS2 million by telling desperate people he could make their debts "disappear" has been jailed for four years.

Basil Rankine, 46, of Somerset Somerset, cities, United States
Somerset.

1 City (1990 pop. 10,733), seat of Pulaski co., S Ky., in a farm, coal, and limestone area of the Cumberland foothills; inc. 1810.
 Avenue, Rugeley, was locked up after conning customers of his Credit Card Killer business between March 2009 and the summer of 2010.

Wife Amanda, 36, was handed a 12-month suspended sentence A sentence given after the formal conviction of a crime that the convicted person is not required to serve.

In criminal cases a trial judge has the ability to suspend the sentence of a convicted person.
 for fraud and unfair commercial practice and was ordered to carry out 200 hours community service.

The pair had plush offices in Birmingham city centre to run their illegal debt purchase scheme.

But they left customers in even more financial trouble by taking their cash and leaving them with their existing debts.

One client handed over PS12,000 to the "blatant" scam (SCSI Configured AutoMatically) A subset of Plug and Play that allows SCSI IDs to be changed by software rather than by flipping switches or changing jumpers. Both the SCSI host adapter and peripheral must support SCAM. See SCSI.  to sell off their debts.

Judge David Tomlinson said the pair had taken advantage of those in desperate need.

He said: "The real harm and loss in cases like this is not financial but human. This case is about real people.

"Damage was done to the pride and self respect of many decent people."

It was estimated the Rankines, who have two children, took cash from around 2,500 people.

But, representing himself in court, the crooked businessman still refused to accept he had conned customers - claiming there was a misunderstanding of the law under which the company was operating.

Phillip Baum, representing Amanda Rankine, claimed she found herself in a Catch-22 between going along with her husband's fraudulent The description of a willful act commenced with the Specific Intent to deceive or cheat, in order to cause some financial detriment to another and to engender personal financial gain.  business, or facing serious marital Pertaining to the relationship of Husband and Wife; having to do with marriage.

Marital agreements are contracts that are entered into by individuals who are about to be married, are already married, or are in the process of ending a marriage.
 difficulties.

He said: "It was Mr Rankine who put himself forward as someone who had read the Consumer Credit Act, she had not even read it.

"This is a family tragedy that will go beyond the sentences and have long-term consequences for the future of this family."

The couple were both banned from holding directorships of companies for seven years.

Jacqui Kennedy, from the Birmingham City Council illegal money lending team, welcomed the sentences and warned consumers not to buy into debt purchase schemes.

"What they said they could do they could not, it is not in law for them to do that. It was a scam."

CAPTION(S):

Jailed: Conman Basil Rankine was handed a four-year jail term. Wife Amanda was given a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to carry out community service.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Sep 18, 2012
Words:384
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