Posed as boss of multinational companies
Earned over $600,000 selling fake items
Travelled in chauffer-driven limousines
A 13-YEAR-OLD boy who lives with his gran has been exposed as one of Britain’s biggest internet conmen.
The boy earned more than £250,000 ($607,000) by posing as the boss of several multinational companies selling vacuum cleaners, stationery and office supplies.
Many goods weren’t sent, but he used the cash to revel in a luxury lifestyle way beyond his years: he wore designer suits, drank vintage champagne and travelled by chauffeur-driven limousine.
He even employed a personal bodyguard, flew abroad on business trips and claimed he was going to buy a private jet.
A source close to the investigation said yesterday: “Despite coming from a relatively humble background, he became an outrageous snob. He claimed public transport was for commoners.”
“He is a total bully and an extremely arrogant young man.”
This week, Balham Youth Court in South London heard the boy, now 16, began a three-year fraud spree after his mother died of cancer.
He received a £16,000 ($38,000) inheritance, some of which he spent on crime books on the methods of successful conmen.
Working from his bedroom at his grandmother’s house in west London, he set up a website purporting to sell discounted plasma screen TVs.
Despite not supplying the goods, the money started to roll in.
He eventually set up a stationery and office supply firm, a dating website and a modelling agency.
He moved into a succession of offices, always moving out without paying the rent.
He also employed dozens of people after placing ads in a job centre.
Unsurprisingly, many weren’t paid.
The boy was first arrested in October 2004, but bailed and went on to reoffend - a pattern that repeated itself four times in two years.
A police source said: “It was like he was addicted to conning people. And whenever he was confronted with what he did, he showed absolutely no remorse.”
On Tuesday, the boy admitted 16 charges of fraud totalling £50,000 ($121,000) but a further 105 charges, worth £135,000, ($327,000) were taken into consideration.
He made bulk purchases on credit from expensive stores and took “business trips” to Paris and Edinburgh.
He hired women from escort agencies and went drinking in exclusive clubs.
But despite his intelligence, his lack of education was exposed in emails littered with spelling and grammatical errors.
But a police source said he could be very convincing: “He is 6ft tall and looks a lot older.”
The court was told his latest project was a genuine online lingerie store.
Despite this, he was warned he could face a time in jail when he returns to court this month.
His victims are now likely to unite to sue the boy.
He conceded the idea of buying a private jet was “a bit silly - I was only 13 at the time”.