Boiler room scam: Graham Mills jailed for seven years

Graham Mills Graham Mills was jailed for seven years after conning investors out of millions of pounds

A man has been jailed for seven years after conning investors out of millions of pounds in a boiler room scam.

Graham Mills, 48, previously of Swinton, Greater Manchester, admitted cheating hundreds of people from across the world by persuading them to invest in fake companies.

The scam was uncovered in 2009 when a fraud victim from Ilkeston, Derbyshire, contacted police.

Detectives discovered one Norwegian man had lost the equivalent of £2.49m.

'Convincing websites'

Nottingham Crown Court heard Mills, who was arrested at Manchester Airport in 2012, had worked with accomplices in Thailand for the past 10 years.

What is a boiler room scam?

  • A 'boiler room' involves conmen cold-calling potential investors using high pressure tactics to dupe victims into buying worthless shares
  • The criminal gangs set up companies, websites and bank accounts to convince victims they are investing in legitimate companies or buying commodities such as gold
  • The term refers to the often hastily-arranged, underground nature of such operations
  • Several films have been based around stories of boiler room scams. These include the 1992 adaptation of Glengarry Glen Ross and the 2000 Ben Affleck film named Boiler Room

The gang cold-called victims and asked them to invest in two fake companies: Regal & Archer LLC and Quantum Holdings Ltd.

To make the businesses appear legitimate, the group set up convincing websites that were linked to genuine investment companies.

The court heard Mills was instrumental in setting up and running the fake companies and websites and had control of bank accounts which investors paid into.

The bank accounts were found to contain about £3.7m.

Mills admitted three charges of conspiracy to defraud between November 2007 and September 2012, conspiracy to convert criminal property and concealing criminal property.

Derbyshire Police were alerted to the operation when an Ilkeston man told them he had handed over thousands of pounds to people claiming to be from an investment company called Milton Hayward, based in Japan.

A four-year police investigation uncovered hundreds of victims from the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.

One Norwegian man lost the equivalent of $4m and a woman from North Yorkshire invested £850,000 in the fake companies.

Mills is the third person to be convicted as part of the investigation.

Paul Slack, 34, was jailed for two-and-a-half-years in July 2012 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to conceal criminal property.

Andrea Davison, 63, from Y Felinheli, north Wales, was convicted in her absence of 26 offences, including theft, false accounting, possession of articles for use in a fraud and making or supplying articles for use in a fraud.

Det Con Pete Freeman, who led the investigation, said: "Mills was instrumental in setting up the websites that victims were directed to look at in order to persuade them to invest.

"The guilty plea will go a long way to the dismantling of the crime group being operated from Thailand.

However this investigation continues and further suspects will be brought to justice."

  • This story was updated on 11/11/13 after an earlier version incorrectly reported that Andrea Davison was convicted of conspiracy to defraud.

More on This Story

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

BBC Derby

Weather

Derby

18 °C 15 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Scotland says 'no' 11:12:

    Andrew Griffiths, Conservative MP for Burton, tweets: "Very pleased we are are all still one country. Now let's have fairness for England- English votes for English MPs please Prime Minister!"

     
  2.  
    News on the hour 10:59: Sally Swinfen Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    The National Grid says work being done in the centre of Bakewell is "essential", following criticism from traders.

    I'll have more on this in my 11:00 bulletin.

     
  3.  
    Paper relaunches 10:49: BBC Radio Derby

    The Derby Telegraph is relaunching tomorrow with a stronger focus on content for women.

    Editor Neil White said: "It's going to be a bit more female-facing, with more of a magazine feel."

     
  4.  
    Shirebrook crash 10:40:

    An accident has closed the B6407 Common Lane in Shirebrook, warns BBC Travel News.

     
  5.  
    Flying the flag 10:25: Rob Watts Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    Here's the Derbyshire flag being hoisted outside Ripley Town Hall ahead of our Derbyshire Day celebrations on Sunday.

    Derbyshire flag

    And that wasn't the only place we've managed to get the flag up this morning....

     
  6.  
    M1 project 10:14: BBC Radio Derby

    Motorists have been warned planned improvements to the M1 in Derbyshire will cause delays until autumn 2015.

    The £225m project, between junctions 28 and 31, will see the road widened and new communication technology installed.

     
  7.  
    Latest headlines 09:59: Sally Swinfen Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    In my 10:00 bulletin I'll have more on roadworks annoying traders in Bakewell.

     
  8.  
    Hundreds of Tesco jobs 09:45: Burton Mail

    Tesco is adding to Burton's jobs boom with the creation of more than 260 positions as part of its multi-million pound new-look superstore.

     
  9.  
    Scotland stays in the UK 09:35:

    Pauline Latham, Conservative MP for Mid Derbyshire, tweets: Delighted with the results of #indyref, and hope this marks a bright new era for the union. We are #bettertogether

     
  10.  
    Blood bikes 09:23:

    A charity which uses volunteers on motorbikes to transport blood between hospitals has extended its service to Burton.

    Blood bike

    Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes say they can save the NHS thousands of pounds a year by providing the courier service free of charge.

     
  11.  
    Roadworks anger traders 09:12: BBC Radio Derby

    Some traders in Bakewell have complained business is down by 50% since major roadworks began in the centre of town last month.

    The National Grid said the gas mains replacement work was essential and would not need to happen again for another 80 years.

     
  12.  
    Top headlines
    • Scotland result: Local MPs respond
    • Bakewell: Roadworks annoy traders
    • Listen: BBC Radio Derby
     
  13.  
    News on the hour 08:58: Sally Swinfen Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    Traders in Bakewell say business is down by 50% since major roadworks started there last month.

    I'll bring you the full story in my 09:00 bulletin.

     
  14.  
    Heavy rain warning 08:49:

    The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for rain in Derbyshire from now until 23:45.

    It says many places will miss the heavy showers but others could see flooding, lightning and hail.

     
  15.  
    Imam backed over IS letter 08:33:

    Muslims in Derby have been telling the BBC they support the actions of a local imam signed an open letter to Islamic State militants calling on them to release the kidnapped British aid worker, Alan Henning.

    Alan Henning

    Mufti Fazal Ahmad, who preaches at Derby's Jamia mosque in Normanton, put his name to the letter which describes the actions of the kidnappers as "senseless" and "despicable".

     
  16.  
    Bakewell roadworks 08:22: BBC Radio Derby

    Traders in Bakewell have described roadworks there as 'atrocious'.

    Gas mains are being replaced in the town centre leading to queues on all major routes.

     
  17.  
    Foggy start, brighter later 08:10: Sara Blizzard BBC Weather

    Fog and drizzle will slowly lift to give us some brighter intervals and sun.

    It will stay dry for most but there is a chance of heavy showers throughout the day with highs of 21C (70F).

     
  18.  
    Good morning 08:00: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    I'll be bringing you all of today's news, sport, travel and weather updates.

    Email or tweet us if you'd like to contribute a photo or comment on any subject.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

Programmes

  • A screenshot from Goat SimulatorClick Watch

    The goat simulator which started as a joke but became a surprising hit, plus other technology news

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.