£5.7m escort agency fraud trial - ‘profits milked’ as scam crumbled court told

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Alleged fraudsters behind multi-million pound escort agency and debt scams continued to milk the profits despite their cons beginning to crumble, a court heard.

The swindles which were run from Spain, but duped victims in the UK, are said to have netted around £5.7million.

Former Wakefield detective Christopher Taylor, 57, of Oxford Road, Wakefield is one of five alleged fraudsters on trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

Prosecutor Nic Lobbenberg told the jury about the connections between each of the defendants and the scam’s “controlling mind” Anthony Muldoon, who has admitted conspiracy to defraud charges.

The escort scam snared people through websites and national newspaper adverts promising £600 a day for two local dates a week. The debt con involved cold callers promising to eliminate people’s credit card debts. Both were in operation by the summer of 2007.

But Mr Lobbenberg said: “By the end of 2009 it was all going wrong for the fraudsters.”

The court was told bank accounts used to transfer money were being closed down, complaints were being made and the Ministry of Justice was getting involved.

Despite this Muldoon, in an e-mail to Taylor, said: “It has been non-stop rebuilding bridges torn down by the banks. You know me. I will not be beaten.”

In another Muldoon complained to Taylor about having money frozen.

Mr Lobbenberg said: “That letter shows Tony Muldoon confided in Christopher Taylor and the reality of what was going on with his debt business and with his escort business. Why would Mr Muldoon confide such things to Mr Taylor, unless he was on the inside of what was going on?”

Taylor denies conspiracy to defraud and money laundering charges as do co-defendants Mark Bell, 41, of Westerfield Road, Ipswich, Colin Samuels, 61, of Redgrave, Norfolk, Geraldine French, 60, of Lowestoft, and Bradley Rogers, 29, of Malaga.

The trial continues.