A fraudster who conned potential tenants out of over £34,000 with bogus holiday and property letting arrangements has been jailed for 30 months.
Tracy Green, 29, formerly of Furness Vale, near Whaley Bridge, pleaded guilty at Derby Crown Court on Friday, November 6, to five fraud offences relating to property and asked for a further 99 similar offences to be taken into consideration.
Prosecuting barrister Mark Watson said: “This case involves habitual and persistent dishonesty by this defendant whose lies went beyond the crimes of the offences.”
Mr Watson explained how Green answered adverts placed on the Gumtree website by people looking for cheap accommodation for holiday or short-term lets.
Green would make contact and falsely legitimised the availability of properties, according to Mr Watson, by showing photos and providing false booking forms and letting details.
Mr Watson added that people would pay up front and then Green would have little or no contact again.
The court heard how Green opened bank accounts and email addresses in fictitious names and in the names of relatives to process cash for the bogus lettings. Mr Watson revealed how victims paid several hundred pounds each and one had made arrangements to be closer to his cancer-stricken mother while another had worked at two jobs to cover costs.
Police confirmed Green targeted victims from around the country including Long Eaton, Hatton, Matlock, Ilkeston and Derby and amassed £34,619 between November, 2013, and April, 2015. The court heard how she had been serving a suspended custodial sentence for 29 similar fraud offences during the time she committed some of her latest crimes.
Defence barrister Hal Ewing said Green, of Hey Park, Huyton, Liverpool, had suffered an unhappy childhood, has been in an abusive relationship and has begun self-harming. He added that a cell mate during her time on remand had also committed suicide.
Recorder Justin Wigoder told Green: “What you carried on doing for a year-and-a-half was totally dishonest. You caused hurt, embarrassment and anguish. This behaviour calls for deterent sentencing because it strikes at the heart of internet trading.”
Judge Wigoder sentenced Green to 20 months in custody and a further 10 for breaching a suspended sentence.