Two people have been sentenced today, Monday 10th December, following a large-scale publishing fraud.
Following a joint investigation between Merseyside Police and the Criminal Enforcement Team at the Insolvency Service, husband and wife Mark William Taylor, 51, and Kelie Taylor, 34, of Hope Farm Road, Ellesmere Port, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court.
The case featured around a large scale fraud operation between 2009 – 2014 in relation to two Wirral-based companies – Global Media Corporation Ltd and Paramount Media Company - both operated by Mark Taylor, who at the time was a disqualified company director.
The investigation related to an advanced fee publishing fraud where sales representatives cold called companies offering advertising space in various magazines which reportedly support the emergency services.
Merseyside Police received a large number of Action Fraud referrals in relation to both companies.
The victims were led to believe that they were investing in legitimate advertising space in magazines to assist the emergency services which are printed and then distributed to a large catchment area.
It has also been reported that the telesales staff within the company either inform the victims that they are members of the police service or some other emergency service representative.
The majority of the complainants to Action Fraud did not pay any money, however were persistently harassed and intimidate by the suspects with threats of debt recovery and litigation.
Mark Taylor pleaded guilty to Fraudulent Trading Section 9 Fraud Act (relating to Paramount Media Company), Fraudulent Trading section 933 of the Companies House Act (relating to the limited company Global Media Corporation Ltd), acting whilst in the Management of a Company – GMC Ltd – whilst being disqualified from being a company director and perjury.
Kelie Taylor pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting Mark Taylor’s disqualification.
Mark Taylor was sentenced four and a half years.
Kelie Taylor was given a two year community order and ordered to complete 175 hours unpaid work and a supervision requirement for 12 months.
Detective Sergeant Joanne Devers, said: “Today’s sentencing shows that the courts do take the issue of fraud very seriously. Some of the people who were taken in by this fraud were small businesses who were just trying to make a living.
“They were contacted out of the blue and asked to take out advertisements to support emergency organisations and these organisations preyed on the fact that most people would be happy to pay to assist the emergency services. They were then given sub-standard examples of work or received no feedback when they asked questions about issues such as circulation figures. Some businesses were also sent invoices for work they hadn’t agreed to.
"Merseyside Police’s Economic Crime team have actively targeted publishing fraudsters over the last four to five years, resulting in a large number of arrests and lengthy convictions. Merseyside Police will continue to target those engaged in this type of crime."
John Fitzsimmons, Deputy Chief Investigation Officer for the Insolvency Service, said: “No matter what type of company you run, you have to comply with all your legal responsibilities. Mark and Kelie Taylor failed to act responsibly when they were involved with Global Media Corporation and in particular, Mark Taylor was a persistent offender having already been banned from running companies.
Working together with Merseyside Police, we sought criminal prosecutions against the pair and we welcome the [substantial] sentence, which should serve as a warning to others that there are severe consequences if you defy insolvency and company laws.”
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