Escort fraud trial latest - investigator tells court how £5.7m internet operation worked

Websites involved in a £5.7million internet fraud promised escorts could be wined and dined in luxury in the UK and abroad, a court heard.

Jurors in Suffolk were guided through the sites at the trial of five people alleged to have been involved in escort agency and debt elimination scams.

Former Wakefield detective Christopher Taylor, 57, of Oxford Road, is one of five on trial who all deny conspiracy to defraud and money laundering.

The man behind the fraud, Anthony Muldoon, who was extradited back from Spain, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud at a previous hearing.

This week prosecutor Nic Lobbenberg and Stuart Hughes, senior trading standards officer, explained the process for people signing up to be companions through more than a dozen internet sites.

Among the sites were Adorabelles, Candy Escorts, Beautiful Adults, Escortopia, Blue One, and European Escorts.

The jury heard they made claims about going racing at Ascot, overnight stays in Paris, attending lavish parties and worldwide travel including staying at five-star resorts.

The websites stated if people signed up to be companions for clients including businessmen and women they could earn upwards of £600 per date.

Mr Lobbenberg read from one site which stated: “You are not expected to have sex with clients.”

Applicants were also told they could double or triple their earnings if they were prepared to work nationally or internationally. But in order to register, people had to pay registration fees and the fraud came when the dates failed to materialise.

Also on trial are Mark Bell, 41, of Westerfield Road, Ipswich; Colin Samuels, 61, of Redgrave, Norfolk; Geraldine French, 60, of Lowestoft, Suffolk; and Bradley Rogers, 29, of Malaga. The trial continues.