Olympic ticket scam touts face jail term

TWO touts have been warned they face jail over a £5m Olympic ticket fraud which took in more than 10,000 customers.

Sports fans paid the fraudsters up to 48 times the face value price for tickets for the 2008 Beijing Olympics – but not a single one arrived.

The parents of gold medal-winning swimmer Rebecca Adlington were among victims from all over the world taken in by the ticket fraud in 2008.

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The conmen were also involved in the sale of £1m-worth of tickets to major sporting events which included football and rugby matches and pop concerts, including events at the London’s O2 arena.

Jurors at Southwark Crown Court, London, returned their verdicts after almost 26 hours of deliberation.

They convicted Terence Shepherd, 52, of Blackheath, south east London, of two counts each of fraudulent trading and acting as a director while disqualified.

He was also found guilty of money-laundering.

Alan Scott, 56, from Chigwell, Essex, had already been found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading.

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Shepherd’s wife Margaret Canty-Shepherd, 51, was found not guilty of money-laundering.

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

Allan Schaverien, 67, has already admitted aiding and abetting fraudulent trading.

Prosecutors claimed that a number of companies, including Xclusive Leisure and Hospitality and Peter’s Tickets, were involved in the scheme.

The trial heard that customers lost a total of £6m.

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More than 500 people gave statements to the Serious Fraud Office.

Many have already recovered their money from credit card companies, which have pursued civil cases.

Prosecutors now hope to seize the group’s assets.