Conference conman jailed

A conman who targeted conference delegates has been jailed.

Martin Kelsey was part of a gang who stole bankcards and conned his victims into revealing their PIN codes.

Exeter Crown Court heard Kelsey, 48, posed as a bank official and targeted conferences in Exeter, Dartmoor, and near York.

Kelsey swindled victims at a doctor’s conference at the Thistle Hotel in Exeter in April 2014, at the Ilsington Hotel on Dartmoor in May, and at the Monk Fryston Hotel near York.

His posed as a bank official who was alerting the victims to a breach of security and persuaded hotel staff to hand notes to his victims which asked them to call their bank urgently, leaving left his phone number as a contact. The gang then took out as much money as they could from the victims’ accounts.

His crimes led to around £20,000 being paid out. A further transaction for £4,750 was stopped when he was arrested.

Kelsey, of Dillotford Avenue, Cheylesmore, Coventry, admitted seven frauds and was jailed for 22 months by Recorder Jeremy Wright.

He was caught when police traced his DNA from a coffee cup from a travel agent in Exeter where he had just withdrawn £2,226 from a doctor’s account.

Police were able to trace him because he has 121 previous convictions for similar frauds or thefts and was already on a suspended sentence.

The court heard Kelsey was part of a gang operating all over Britain for years calling itself the Coventry Falcons.

Emily King

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Emily King

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