SUSPICIOUS staff at a Rugby shop helped catch a criminal who had played a part in a “highly sophisticated” fraud.
Samuel Ojomo was caught red-handed at Cash Converters in North Street as he tried to cash a cheque for £967.
Ojomo, 21, of Stoke, Coventry, was found guilty of three fraud charges following a trial. He was given a conditional discharge for 18 months by a judge at Warwick Crown Court.
Prosecutor Amy Jackson said that on one day in November last year Ojomo had visited Cash Converters shops in Nuneaton, Coventry and Rugby.
At each of the first two shops he had succeeded in cashing cheques, supposedly on the account of Manor Hygiene Supplies Ltd, for £967.60 each.
Ojomo, an accountancy student of previous good character, provided fake utility bills to staff as proof that he was the payee named on the cheques.
And when staff members tried to confirm the validity of the cheques, the phone number they found on a bogus internet site turned out also to be also false. - with the the person they spoke to claiming the cheques were genuine.
Miss Jackson said that when Ojomo moved on to try the same scam at the Cash Converters shop in Rugby, it failed and the staff stalled him and called the police.
Ojomo was arrested there, and when he was questioned he said a man called KC had asked him to take part, in return for which he had been promised a third of what he obtained.
Ojomo, defending himself, said: “I did make an effort to help the police find the guy, and he got arrested.
“But the police said there was not enough evidence against him.”
Judge Alan Parker described the fraud as “highly sophisticated”.
He said: “It extended to Mr Ojomo as having been identified and recruited by others more sophisticated than him.
“He was a pawn in a sophisticated enterprise.”
Sentencing Ojomo, who he described as “charming and courteous” during his trial, Judge Parker, mindful of the effect the conviction would have on his career, told him: “You did wrong. You should not have been tempted to do it, but I’m going to deal with you in a way which I hope will not make it too much more serious for you.”