Gervais con duo jailed

ID thieves in £200k bullion scam

Two identity thieves have been jailed for stealing £200,000 from Ricky Gervais which they used to try to buy gold bullion.

Their method was not subtle: they pasted the picture of him as David Brent from the cover of The Office DVD onto a dead man’s passport.

A Gervais lookalike then managed to get a solicitor to sign a photocopy of the forged passport.

Then, with the help of a bank insider, homeless Kenneth Speight, 39,  and Craig Reeves, 30, of Alton, Hampshire, transferred the money into another account.

They were jailed for two-and-a-half and two years respectively at London’s Wood Green Crown Court today. They were also found guilty of plundering a doctor’s account.

The court heard Gervais’s cash was to be used to buy 27kg of gold – but the dealer’s suspicions was raised when one of the comen called up, posing as the conman.

Gervais was contacted and police were notified.

Nat West employee Sharonjeet Snober, 28, of Southampton, was cleared after saying someone used her bank password without her knowledge to pass on details of Gervais’s account. Courier Harry Peach, 57, of Leatherhead, Surrey, was also cleared.

A fifth defendant, courier company boss Mushtaq Javed, 43, of Crawley, West Sussex, faces a retrial after the jury failed to reach a verdict on two conspiracy counts.


Published: 23 Mar 2005

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