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Woman `dripping in gold' is jailed.

A WOMAN ``dripping in gold'' has been jailed after conning friends of more than pounds 40,000.

Lynne Annette Wright gave the appearance of an affluent life-style. She drove a BMW, wore expensive jewellery and boasted to friends and acquaintances that it was all down to Uncle Jack, who had contacts on the Amsterdam stock market.

They too could have a life-style like hers, she said, and persuaded friends and others to part with large sums of money for her to invest on their behalf. One of them was a lottery winner, a Wrexham nurse who gave her pounds 20,000 to invest on her behalf, explained prosecuting barrister Owen Edwards. But it was all a complete scam. Wright was broke, Uncle Jack was entirely fictitious and she used the money to fund her own life-style.

When she came under pressure to produce some results from the investments the con snowballed as she ``robbed Peter to pay Paul'' - and dishonestly obtained a total of pounds 43,000 over a two-year period.

Once a wealthy woman but now bankrupt, Wright, 43, formerly of Galaxy Grove in Brynteg, Wrexham, was jailed for 20 months after she admitted seven counts of stealing from her friends and one of attempting to obtain cash by de-ception. Originally the prosecution alleged that she obtained a total of pounds 47,500 from various people by indicating that she would use the money to buy stocks and shares of their behalf. But the prosecution accepted her guilty pleas to stealing a total of pounds 43,000. Judge Merfyn Hughes QC told Wright, ``You had an apparent affluent life-style and flaunted the trappings of wealth in a dishonest attempt to persuade honest and decent people to part with their hard-earned cash.''

She had put forward entirely false investment schemes. ``You told a number of lies to people you were friendly with, those who thought they knew you,'' he said.

Most were middle aged people who needed the money for their retirements but she had been ``premeditated and predatory'' in the way she selected her victims. They had been left devastated, angry and feeling totally betrayed.

She stole pounds 2,500 from Margerie Williams who she knew socially. Mrs Williams was persuaded to hand over the money at a Wrexham restaurant but that was the last she saw of the money.

Retired nurse Glenis Jones handed over pounds 20,000 from a lottery win, Wright persuade her GP's wife Chitra Nankani to invest pounds 5,000 and also attempted to obtain pounds 5,000 from GP Dr Jay Nankani but he had second thoughts and was able to cancel the cheque.

Hospital porter Graham Lewis handed over pounds 2,000 and then a further pounds 3,000 after he received some redundancy money and he also loaned money from members of the family. He knew she came from a wealthy family and he was impressed when he told her ``all this could be yours'' and ``you could live like this.'' Eileen Cooper, the mother of the defendant's friend Carol Parry, invested pounds 2,000 after being told that she would ``make a fortune''.

All of the complainants were from the Wrexham area apart from Richard Albert Barker who was from the Hoole area of Chester.

The defendant's estranged husband lived near him at Westminster Park and Mr Barker was persuaded to invest pounds 8,500. Defending barrister Gordon Hennell said Wright was full of remorse and the risk of re-offending was low. The offences had been completely out of character at a time when she had lost both parents and one of her three children had been ill.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 20, 2002
Words:608
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