London

Two face jail over Beijing Olympics tickets scam

Terence Shepherd
Image caption Terence Shepherd is due to be sentenced on Monday

Two men convicted over a £5m Olympics tickets scam have been warned they face a jail term.

Swimmer Rebecca Adlington's parents were among those who paid up to 48 times the face value for 2008 Beijing Olympics tickets they never received.

Terence Shepherd, 52, of Blackheath, south-east London, has been convicted of fraudulent trading.

Alan Scott, 56, from Chigwell, Essex, was found guilty of the same charge at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday.

Shepherd was also convicted of acting as a director while disqualified and money-laundering.

Judge Martin Beddow, who remanded the men in custody until sentencing on Monday, said: "You have now been convicted of very serious offences so a term of imprisonment of some significance is now inevitable."

Jurors found the pair guilty after hearing how more than 10,000 sports fans across the world paid out for the tickets, none of which arrived.

Rebecca Adlington's mother Kay was among the victims who gave evidence at the trial.

Company assets

She said she was absolutely devastated when she realised she and her husband would not be able to see their daughter compete in Beijing.

She told the court how she handed over more than £1,000 for tickets that never turned up and was told this was due to the collapse of the ticket supplier.

The conmen were also involved in the sale of £1m of tickets to major sporting events such as football and rugby matches and pop concerts, including events at the O2.

Image caption Rebecca Adlington's parents were among thousands of people conned out of tickets

Prosecutors claimed several companies, including Xclusive Leisure and Hospitality and Peter's Tickets, were involved in the scheme.

The court heard customers lost a total of £6m and prosecutors were now hoping to seize the company assets.

Allan Schaverien, 67, had earlier admitted aiding and abetting fraudulent trading in relation to the case.

Shepherd's wife Margaret Canty-Shepherd, 51, was cleared of money-laundering.

Cyril Gold, from Harrow Weald, north-west London, was found not guilty of aiding and abetting fraudulent trading.

Richard Alderman, from the Serious Fraud Office, said: "Xclusive was a sham that not only cost a lot of people their hard-earned money, but dashed their dreams."

He said that they would do their best to get the money back for the victims.

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