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Mr and Mrs credit card fraudsters; 'flash' couple lived life of luxury.

A LAW firm clerk who conspired with her husband in a credit card scam to fund a luxury lifestyle has been spared jail.

For 16 years Samantha Doyle enjoyed a respectable career as a clerk and caseworker at Manchester solicitors firm Olliers.

But in the last three years close family connections with organised criminals have twice landed her in the dock.

Back in 2015 Doyle, a 38-year-old mum-of-five, stood trial accused of running amphetamines on behalf of her drug baron father, Paul Doyle, who is serving 16 years behind bars.

Doyle and her husband, career criminal Dane Fitzwater, were both cleared of supplying drugs to dealers in Barrow-in-Furness at Manchester Crown Court.

But now, nearly three years on, at the same court, the couple have been sentenced for their parts in a conspiracy to defraud small businesses by using stolen credit card details to pay for flash cars, motorbikes, cosmetic surgery, expensive watches and lavish parties worth PS100,000. The card details were obtained by computer hacker Aquil Khan, who obtained stolen credit card details over the 'Dark Web' - the part of the internet which isn't visible to ordinary search engines.

Another member of the plot, Ashley Vickers, acted as frontman, going into car and bike dealerships and organising purchases to be paid for over the phone.

Fitzwater led the plot, using it to fund what a judge has described as a 'flash, criminal lifestyle.'.

After Doyle was encouraged to get involved in the conspiracy by her husband, she conned Lepps Jewellers in Altrincham out of a Rolex watch worth PS2,500 after asking if they would take payment over the telephone.

The group was rumbled when police found counterfeit cash in Khan's letterbox on August 27, 2016.

Fitzwater, 34, of Hendham Drive, Altrincham, was found guilty after trial of conspiracy to defraud motor traders. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud Lepps Jewellers and conspiracy to defraud Butterfly Dental Practice.

Doyle, 38, also of Hendham Drive, Altrincham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud Lepps Jewellers in January. She was sacked by Olliers in 2016.

Vickers, 31, of Coronation Avenue, Atherton, Wigan, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud motor traders.

He also pleaded guilty to thefts from a house in Rochdale, Lepps Jewellers and Time Piece Watch Repairs.

Khan, 30, of Watson Avenue, Manchester, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud motor traders; conspiracy to defraud HD Brows; conspiracy to defraud Lepps Jewellers; and conspiracy to defraud Butterfly Dental Practice.

Khan also pleaded guilty to being in possession of counterfeit cash.

Sentencing, Judge Anthony Cross QC said: "Khan, Fitzwater and Vickers are criminals who have an unenviable record of dishonesty."

He added: "You were brazen criminals. This was not fraud to put food on the family table. It was fraud committed for greed."

Addressing Fitzwater, he said: "You were a leader in the truest sense. You involved at least one other, your wife, through pressure. Putting others closer to the firing line than yourself."

Fitzwater was jailed for six years. Vickers and Khan were jailed for three years. Doyle was given nine months, suspended for two years, and 200 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Cross QC told her: "The unpaid work is so you can see how ordinary people have to live their lives, who struggle to pay for dentistry, and who struggle in life. You can consider yourself extremely lucky."

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Samantha Doyle and husband Dane Fitzwater
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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:Feb 20, 2018
Words:568
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