Norfolk

Former Norfolk policeman guilty of £1m fraud

Norwich Crown Court
Image caption A second trial at Norwich Crown Court saw ex-police officer convicted of conning business associates of £1m to fund his excessive lifestyle

A former police officer has been found guilty of a £1m fraud.

Ben Staff, 35 used his reputation as an ex-policeman to gain the trust of victims before using money intended for business accounts to fund his lavish lifestyle.

He was convicted of six charges in March and found guilty of two charges on Monday at Norwich Crown Court.

Det Insp Liz Fernandes said it was a "highly complex" investigation and Staff was "nothing but a conman".

His wife Catriona Staff, 33, a police officer, was cleared on all counts.

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Staff, of Lucas Court, Norwich, had resigned from Norfolk Constabulary in 2008.

The force launched an investigation into his conduct in 2012 after it received a complaint about his business practices and Staff was arrested in 2014.

The court was told payments relating to his building and development companies went into his own personal accounts instead of business accounts which meant creditors and associates were not paid.

'Absolutely unforgivable'

Staff used the money to buy executive cars and pay for holidays, home renovations and his wedding.

In March he was convicted of two counts of fraud, two counts of false accounting, one count of converting criminal property and one count of fraudulent trading in relation to businesses including MR Trades Ltd, SES East Anglia and Morpheus Homes at King's Lynn Crown Court in March.

In a second trial at Norwich Crown Court, Staff was found guilty of fraud by false representation and converting criminal property.

Deputy Chief Constable Nick Dean said the offences were very serious and the fact Staff "traded on the reputation of the police is absolutely unforgivable".

Staff is expected to be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court in January.

Norfolk Police said Catriona Staff was suspended from duty in 2014 pending the outcome of legal proceedings and now faces internal disciplinary procedures.

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