Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Fife man fined for computer con

Edinburgh Sheriff Court
Image caption Iain Winfield had earlier pled guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

A man who conned an IT firm out of £50,000 worth of goods by telling them products he claimed they had supplied were faulty has been fined £2,000.

Iain Winfield, 28, from Fife, had earlier pled guilty to carrying out a fraudulent scheme to obtain electronic goods from Hewlett Packard.

He was ordered to repay the £50,000 he stole between 23 November 2008 and 29 May 2009 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Winfield operated his scam from premises in Slateford Road, Edinburgh.

He contacted Hewlett Packard on the internet pretending to represent various IT companies, complaining that hard drives and other computer equipment supplied by Hewlett Packard had been faulty and requesting replacement under the company's warrant scheme.

At a previous hearing, fiscal depute Ruth Ross-Davie said the company did not require the "faulty" items to be returned, but simply sent replacements.

Winfield got equipment worth £50,000 and none of it had been recovered.

Winfield's defence agent Cheryl Beattie told Sheriff Frank Crowe that her client had saved £15,000 which he would hand over in two weeks and thereafter would pay £1,500 a month towards the outstanding balance.

Sheriff Crowe said: "I cannot understand how he just told a story like this and the company did not check."

The scheme broke down when Hewlett Packard "eventually began to suspect something was wrong" and contacted the police.

The sheriff said he was taking into account that Winfield was a first offender and had pled guilty at an early stage.

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