Three conmen behind £12m swindle jailed

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Three men involved in an elaborate confidence trick in which a Christian philanthropist lost £12m have been jailed.

Businessman Graham Dacre was persuaded to part with a slice of his fortune, having been promised huge profits from a high-yield investment fund he intended to use for charitable causes, Norwich Crown Court heard.

A German church also lost E7m (£5.6m) in a linked fraud.

Sentencing the men, Judge Nicholas Coleman said: “This was a calculated and audacious fraud.”

Alan Hunt 65, of The Avenue in Poole, Dorset, was sentenced to a total of nine years yesterday, after being found guilty of conspiracy to defraud.

Arthur Ford-Batey, 62, of Miles McInnes Court, Carlisle, was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud Mr Dacre, and was sentenced to six years, while Ian Yorkshire, 62, of Clarendon VIllas, Brighton, was found guilty of conspiracy to launder criminal property and jailed for 11 years.