George Steen, 55, David Andrews, 39, and Dennis Alexander, 48, were sentenced to jail terms of six years, five years and two years respectively, for defrauding business loan applicants in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The three, and a fourth defendant who died in 2002, ran a commercial loan business out of Brighton and Darlington, known as Corporate Advances, which advertising in the overseas press.
Applicants were required to pay certain non-refundable fees to have their applications processed, but no loans were processed. Instead further financial conditions were imposed that were impossible to meet, so that applications had to be withdrawn and deposits lost.
In making his ruling, judge Goymer described the three as ‘ruthless, cynical, greedy fraudsters’ who operated in a ‘thoroughly dishonest fashion’.
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