Devon

Alleged charity collection conman 'pocketed £37K', court hears

An alleged conman pocketed £37,000 while he was running a scam in which unemployed youths pretended to be charity collectors, a court heard.

Businessman Jamie Monteiro sent out men with collection buckets who allegedly claimed to be raising cash for charity.

But half was going to the collectors and half for Monteiro, Exeter Crown Court was told.

His firm Youth Recruit sent collectors around Devon, Cornwall and Somerset during 2014 and the first half of 2015.

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The collectors said they were raising funds for charities and witnesses heard collectors saying the money was for homeless local children, the court heard.

Leaflets falsely claimed donations were made to the housing charity Shelter.

David Sapiecha, prosecuting, said: "People are much more willing to part with their cash for charity, so it is an attractive ploy for a fraudster to appear to be collecting for charity."

Figures from Monteiro's bank account showed he deposited just under £37,000 when he was running Youth Recruit.

Mr Monteiro, 26, of Larkspur Drive, Newton Abbot, denies five counts of fraud.

Jordan Fletcher, 23, of Bladon Close, Newton Abbot, denies three counts of fraud.

The trial continues.

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