A fraudster who stole almost £900,000 ($1.1 million) from seven vulnerable victims to fund his gambling addiction has been sentenced to five years and three months in prison. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A big scam
A fake financial adviser in Britain who defrauded seven vulnerable people out of almost 900,000 pounds ($1.1 million) has been sentenced to five years and three months in prison. Peter Holbrook targeted recently deceased or elderly people and offered to deal with estate matters and draft wills, even though he was not qualified to do so.
The 75-year-old admitted seven separate counts of fraud and said he used the money to satisfy his gambling addiction.
One particular victim lost almost £390,000 ($488,933)
Bradford Crown Court heard how the defendant stole £849,839 ($1 million) from the seven victims between January 2011 and March 2021. One particular victim lost almost £390,000 ($488,933).
In addition to gambling with much of the money, Holbrook also used some of it to pay for vacations and give some repayments to victims when they started asking questions. The judge said Holbrook showed little compassion for his victims and thought only of himself.
Try to avoid charges
Judge Richard Thyne summarized Holbrook’s interviews for the court in which he told police he was a rich, professional gambler who liked helping people. To avoid the allegations, the perpetrator described the children of one of his victims as “malicious and duplicitous.”
finally confessed to his crimes during his third interview
Holbrook initially claimed he was innocent, claiming his daughter’s death had led to a delay in processing a money transfer to the family of one of the victims. In fact, the court heard that Holbrook’s daughter is still alive and living in the UK. He finally confessed his crimes during his third interviewas reported by the BBC.
The judge emphasized that Holbrook deprived people of their financial security in moments of vulnerability. He said Holbrook “took away money that parents had saved to give to their children upon their death; Retirement plans were canceled; and houses were sold to pay for care that should have come from people’s savings.”
A lasting effect
Holbrook – who has no criminal record – said he was “disgusted” by his actions. Some of the victims blamed themselves for falling for the trick and confirmed that the matter had caused problems with family members.
Holbrook reportedly spent 12 hours a day gaming online in his home office, neglecting his wife and children.
The son of a woman who lost almost 380,000 pounds ($476,396) to Holbrook spoke outside court. He said his mother passed away in January and she was confident that the money she had invested would benefit her children in the future. The man warned people to be careful who they trust with their money and welcomed the court’s decision to send Holbrook to prison.