Cumbria

Energy firm fraudster James Cox jailed for £40k scam

James Cox
Image caption James Cox had previously used the alias James Munroe

A serial conman who defrauded an energy firm of £40,000 after lying to get a job as its finance director has been jailed.

James Cox concocted a CV and references to land the role and £65,000 salary at Britain's Energy Coast (BEC).

He had been jailed twice before for fraud, including five years for for taking £2.8m from an employer to supposedly set up a racing team.

The 51-year-old was sentenced to six years for his most recent crimes.

He admitted six offences at a previous hearing, including committing fraud to get the job, obtaining the money through fraud and four counts of transferring criminal property.

Carlisle Crown Court heard Cox bought a Jaguar car after forging a signature for a loan agreement in May 2015.

He fraudulently obtained £40,687 from BEC, which is based in Whitehaven, Cumbria.

'Gentleman racer'

An audit highlighted concerns and he left the firm in August.

Image caption Cox previously appeared on a BBC car programme with one of his two £850,000 McLaren F1 sports cars

Cox, who was living in a budget hotel in Weston-super-Mare at the time of his arrest, was sentenced to a five-year jail term in 2000 after taking £2.8m from publishing firm McGraw-Hill to set himself up as a "gentleman racer".

Registering a number of "ghost" companies, he billed McGraw-Hill for services rendered and used the money to buy luxury sports cars including Ferraris, Aston Martins and McLarens.

He passed himself off as the founder of a racing team and staged a launch event attended by a number of celebrities.

In 2007, he was again jailed after fraudulently taking almost £500,000 from the Automotive Skills charity where he was working.

BEC is jointly owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Council and Cumbria County Council.

Image caption Cox used the money obtained from BEC to buy a Jaguar car

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites