Berkshire

Cameo Auctioneers found guilty of fraud

Jonathan and Beverley King
Image caption Jonathan and Beverley King used the money to fund a holiday in Dubai, the court heard

An auctioneer who used thousands of pounds of customers' money to fund his lifestyle has been convicted of fraud.

Jonathan King, 66, of Cameo Auctioneers in Midgham, Berkshire, was found guilty on seven counts, including fraud by abuse of position.

His wife Beverley King, 62, was found guilty of acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property and her brother Glenn Norcliffe, 64, was guilty of three charges, including fraud.

The court heard the firm went bankrupt.

All three will be sentenced on 6 March.

During the trial at Reading Crown Court, the jury heard Cameo was a struggling business that was deeply in debt.

It went bankrupt in 2012 after hundreds of customers complained it had sold their items but failed to pay them.

Image caption Glenn Norcliffe, Beverley King's brother, was guilty of three offences

Gordon Menzies QC, prosecuting, said: "It's not just that clients had difficulty getting their money... they never got paid at all."

Almost £250,000 was taken between January 2008 and May 2012 at the auctioneers.

It included £7,000 that paid for a holiday to Dubai for the married couple, the court heard.

Jonathan King, of Mattock Way in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, was found guilty of all seven charges he faced - four counts of fraud by abuse of position, one of dishonestly making false representation to make gain for self or loss to another, one of engaging in commercial practice which is a misleading omission by abuse, and one of making false statutory declarations.

Beverley King, also of Mattock Way, Abingdon, was found guilty of one count of entering into of acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property, but cleared of a second.

Norcliffe, of Marcuse Road in Caterham, Surrey, was convicted of two counts of fraud by abuse of position and one of false accounting.

He was also found guilty on 10 November of one count of dishonestly making false representation to make gain for self or loss to another.

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