18 June 1998
Jailbird tractor trickster in £310k con

A JAILBIRD fraudster who conned farmers in an agricultural machinery scam was back behind bars yesterday.

David Aves, 39, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, used portable phones smuggled into prison to buy and sell agricultural machinery, asking for deposits of up to £40,000 for combine harvesters.

But customers handing over cash never received their machinery. The trickster, who scanned the agricultural press for potential victims, operated the scam from Blundeston Prison, Suffolk, using a man on the outside.

But Norwich Crown Court heard his partner Paul Sinclair quit after complaints from customers. He initially believed it to be an honest business venture.

Aves admitted conspiracy to defraud involving more than £310,000. He asked for seven other deception charges involving £29,000 to be considered. He was jailed for four-and-a-half years.

  • The Daily Telegraph 18/06/98 page 11