Suffolk

'Escort scam' trial: Two men and a woman found guilty

Two men and a woman have been found guilty of involvement in a £5.7m escort and debt recovery scam.

Mark Bell, 41, Colin Samuels, 61 and Geraldine French, 60, were each convicted of two counts of conspiracy to defraud.

The Ipswich Crown Court jury is still considering charges against Christopher Taylor, 57, and Bradley Rogers, 29, who deny conspiracy to defraud.

A sixth defendant, Toni Muldoon, has admitted the same offence.

The nine-week trial had heard how 14,000 people were conned by a fake escort and debt recovery scam which made £5.7m.

The jury took 14 hours to reach their guilty verdicts on Bell, of Westerfield, near Ipswich, Samuels, of Redgrave, Suffolk, and French, who lived in Spain but has Suffolk links.

Judge Rupert Overbury told them that jail sentences were inevitable and remanded them in custody.

Mr Taylor, a retired West Yorkshire detective, and Mr Rogers, of Malaga, Spain, each deny conspiracy to defraud and money-laundering.

One juror has been discharged to go on holiday. The others will resume their deliberations on Monday.

The judge told them: "Take as much time as you need."

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