Boiler room scam conman to pay back just over £8k

Lynne D'Albertson
Lynne D'Albertson

A FRAUDSTER who helped run a multi-million pound boiler room scam will have to pay back just £8,000 of the £172,000 he pocketed.

Damien Smith, 38, conned dozens of victims into paying for over-priced shares while working with his mum Lynne D’Albertson and her husband Brian O’Brien, both aged 58 and from Westfield.

But the former chef will have to repay less than five per cent of his haul, after claiming to have blown the cash on luxuries including a top-of-the-range Audi sports car.

Smith also handed over large amounts of money to his girlfriend, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Judge Peter Testar gave him three months to cough up the £8,225 in assets he has remaining or face a further six months in jail.

Smith was locked up in May for three years and four months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud and contravening a general prohibition on carrying on regulated activity. His total haul was £172,674.

D’Albertson and O’Brien were jailed in April for a total of 12 years.

Smith sold worthless shares through Black & White, a boiler room set up in Barcelona, before setting up a similar scam under the name DML in Limerick, Ireland.

While operating DML he helped dupe 46 people into buying shares in Golden Dynasty Resources and Claim Tracker for up to four times their value.

Among his victims at DML were investors he had targeted while working in Spain under the fake name Paul Marriott and convinced to buy restricted Regulation S shares.

Smith offered investors a cheap and quick route out of their restricted stock provided they purchased new shares in Golden Dynasty Resources and Claim Tracker.

Money made from the sale of shares at DML was paid to O’Brien and D’Albertson’s Bexhill-based sham escrow agency Secure Trade & Title.

In total DML and other boiler room scams run by the couple tricked up to 300 victims into buying over-priced shares.

Confiscation proceedings against O’Brien, D’Albertson, and a fourth man James Pye, had been due to take place on Monday, but were adjourned after the defendants were not produced at court.

Smith, of Eversfield Mews North, St Leonards, admitted conspiracy to defraud and one counts of contravening general prohibition on carrying on regulated activity contrary.

O’Brien and D’Albertson, both of Fairlight View Cottages, New Cut, Westfield, were convicted of a catalogue of charges, including conspiracy to defraud and hampering an investigation. O’Brien was sentenced to eight years behind bars and D’Albertson was jailed for four-and-a-half-years.