South West Wales

Former Swansea hotelier Nigel Shreeve jailed for fraud

A former hotelier who duped a businessman out of £1.2m in a property deal in Swansea has been jailed for five years.

Nigel Shreeve, 52, sold leases at a property on Kingsway, Swansea, to Tarsem Singh but altered documents to make them look more valuable.

The former owner of the city's Dolphin Hotel admitted three charges of fraud at Swansea Crown Court.

The court heard that he "squandered" the money and had debts of £4m.

Roger Griffiths, prosecuting, said Shreeve agreed to sell the leases for £1,225,000 to Mr Singh with the value based on the rental amounts tenants were paying and the length of their individual agreements.

He said Shreeve had inflated the rental agreement and the length of the leases.

Just days after the sale went through Mr Singh called on the tenants to introduce himself and found one business was already leaving.

Mr Griffiths said worse was to come as Shreeve should have used part of the £1.225m to pay off a mortgage of £800,000 on the Kingsway building.

But instead he "squandered" the money, spending £42,000 on a Mercedes car, sending £170,000 to his son-in-law in Australia and giving £13,000 to a woman.

'Astonishingly brazen'

Mr Griffiths said Shreeve was now bankrupt and had total debts of £4m.

But he had no assets and his only income was sickness benefit payments.

As well as three counts of fraud, Shreeve, from the Hafod area of the city, admitted 33 offences of transferring criminal property totalling £2,378,003 between October 2009 and February 2010, and an additional offence of removing £170,000 of criminal property from the United Kingdom.

His barrister, Frank Phillips, said Shreeve, who began his business life as an ice cream seller, had altered the leases to raise the money to buy the Dolphin Hotel.

When he had the opportunity of selling them to Mr Singh he let the fraud continue.

Recorder Geraint Walters said Shreeve had been "astonishingly brazen" and had left an honest businessman licking his wounds "for some time to come."

"There is not a penny left and you owe four million in all. You were thoroughly dishonest and were persistent with your conduct," he added.