Tees

Fugitive £1m fraudster Kole Lulgjuraj jailed for six years

Kole Lulgjuraj Image copyright Durham Police
Image caption Kole Lulgjuraj was on the run for almost four years

A financial advisor who went on the run to the USA after he swindled several elderly people out of almost £1m has been jailed.

Kole Lulgjuraj was arrested in Darlington in 2012 on suspicion of fleecing people out of their savings, but fled the country while on bail.

Following a three-year manhunt, he was tracked down in Indianapolis, Indiana.

He was sentenced to six years and eight months at Teesside Crown Court for six counts of theft and one count of fraud.

Many of his victims have since died, including Francis Davies.

Her son Michael said: "It was such a despicable thing to do.

"He just looked on them as a source of funding for his own lifestyle."

Image copyright Newcastle Chronicle
Image caption Durham Police officers travelled to the USA in May to bring the 50-year-old back to England

An investigation began when the family of one of the alleged victims queried her bank account when working out the funding of care home bills.

The court heard many of his victims lost savings and assets and some were left unable to pay for care.

'Internet search'

In January, Lulgjuraj was arrested by the FBI in Indianapolis after he started work at a bank.

A colleague had carried out an internet search of his surname, leading to a newspaper article which said he was wanted by police.

Durham Police travelled to the USA in May to bring the 50-year-old, from Montenegro, back to north-east England.

Image copyright William Yarrow
Image caption Nancy and Stan Yarrow were "left with nothing"

Nancy and Stan Yarrow were conned out of £155,000.

Their son William said: "I think it was awful what he did to my parents... they should have been comfortable in retirement and he left them with nothing basically.

"They trusted him. I'm appalled by it, it's terrible that somebody can just prey on the elderly like that."

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