News and Views
Jamaican Rogue travel agent who fleeced customers of £100,000 with non-existent plane tickets ordered to repay just ONE POUND after pleading poverty
- Dean Oliver ripped off customers with false promises of cheap flights
- He was convicted of fraud and using a false instrument, covering £25,993
- But investigations found another £103,649 of unexplained deposits
- The 46-year-old blew all of the cash and has no assets or cash to forfeit
A rogue travel agent who duped holidaymakers out of tens of thousands of pounds by selling tickets for non-existent flights has been ordered to repay just £1.
Dean Oliver, who is serving a three-year sentence behind bars, avoided a hefty sum of restitution after he pleaded poverty and an investigation found that he has no assets or cash to forfeit.
Birmingham Crown Court heard the 46-year-old conman lived a ‘criminal lifestyle’ which involved ripping off customers with false promises of cheap flights and is believed to have netted him more than £100,000.
But Mr Oliver, from Manchester, had blown all of the cash and there was no realistic prospect of recovering any assets or funds, said prosecutor Ben Mills.
As a result the Crown asked for a confiscation order of just £1 even though his victims each lost hundreds or thousands of pounds when they booked dream holidays or trips to visit family or attend weddings.
Mr Oliver, who was pictured grinning following a Birmingham Crown Court appearance last year, was jailed for three years last September after a jury found him guilty at trial last July.
An investigation found that Dean Oliver had blown all of the cash and there were no assets to seize
The Jamaican could have to serve just a single extra day at the end of his sentence if he fails to cough up the £1 by March 17.
Mr Oliver was convicted of 19 charges of fraud and two of using a false instrument, covering a total of £25,993.
But an investigation found another £103,649 of unexplained deposits in his accounts.
The scheming crook promised cheap flights from his Smethwick-based travel firm and then from Digbeth, but he left 19 holidaymakers in the lurch between 2011 and 2012.
He set up a frequent flyers’ club which aimed to attract seven million members, and he was arrested after a mob descended on his Digbeth office.
Judge Richard Bond delivered a scathing address when he sentenced Mr Oliver last year, saying the scheme was ‘at best comical’ and ‘at worst’ involved ‘bare-faced lies’.
He said: ‘You have an easy charm about you, I saw that demonstrated when you gave evidence to the jury, a kind smile which you used to gain the confidence of your victims.
‘I don’t accept for one moment you believed this business model would succeed. I form the view you are a confidence trickster, taking money from customers knowing full well you wouldn’t provide them with tickets.
‘They were all decent, hardworking people who used your services because of promises you made them. They were easy targets because they wanted tickets to visit family or important occasions such as weddings.’
‘They are decent, loyal people, words that cannot be used to describe yourself.’