Conman swindles East Devon bank out of almost �10,000

Jobless fraudster who tricked Natwest staff jailed. He blamed ‘man in pub’ for recruiting him.

A white man with a strong Scottish accent swindled a bank out of almost �10,000 by persuading staff he was a wealthy Asian businessman.

Jobless Donald Lindsay, 40, dressed up in a suit and went into the bank in Ottery St Mary, claiming to be Bradford-based entrepreneur Ali Qumran.

He was accompanied by a smartly dressed woman and cashed two cheques after telling staff he was buying poultry raising equipment from a local farm for cash.

He had a driving licence with photo identification in Mr Qumran’s name and staff handed over the �9,900 because his signature matched that on the document, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Glasgow-born Lindsay, from Milton Keynes, admitted fraud and asked for two similar cases to be considered and was jailed for four months by Recorder Mr John Williams.

He told him: “On the basis of your record, you would appear to be a conman who dressed up to come down to Devon with a woman who was also dressed well.

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“You used false identification on a deliberate trip to obtain just short of �10,000.

“I am rather sceptical about your plans to keep away from crime in the future and I hope you don’t come back before me or you can expect a far more decent sentence.”

Miss Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said Lindsay travelled to Devon in January with a woman who has not been identified and went into the Ottery St Mary branch of Natwest posing as Mr Qumran.

He claimed to be a director of a genuine company, based in Bradford, called Pak Poultry Products and presented a cheque for �1,900 which was paid out after staff compared the signature on his driving licence.

He returned a few hours later and presented another cheque for �8,000 after telling staff he needed the cash to buy equipment for his business from a local supplier.

The real Mr Qumran contacted police as soon as he spotted the money leaving his business’s account and Lindsay was traced after police studied CCTV from the bank.

He has a history of deceptions going back to 1995 and told police he had plans to return to Glasgow. He also admitted carrying out similar offences in Thornbury and Burnham-on-Sea which netted a further �5,000.

Mr Ben Burge, defending, said Lindsay suffers from diabetes and depression as a result of a 14 year history of alcohol abuse.

He said he had been staying with his daughter in Milton Keynes when a man in a pub had recruited him to the scheme and he agreed to take part because ‘he was in a vulnerable place at the time’.

Mr Burge said someone else had organised the false identification documents and organised the trip to Devon.

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