Wednesday, 24 September 2008

David Oakley fled to Spain as police closed in on him.

01:26 |

David Oakley was today found guilty of a series of frauds and deceptions in which he cheated customers of his holiday and travel companies.A jury took just 20 minutes to decide that Oakley was guilty of 12 offences which included fraudulent trading and using forged cheques - and then heard he had fled to Spain as police closed in on him.The prosecution said Oakley, 62, was a conman who sold timeshare and holiday club memberships.Oakley, formerly of Salters Lane, Shrewsbury, was not in the dock and his trial was heard in his absence.During the six-day hearing the jury was not told Oakley had absconded three years ago. But after the verdicts the jury heard that Oakley was in Spain, as Mr David Matthew, prosecuting, made a confiscation application under the Proceeds of Crime Act.Recorder Denis Desmond was due to pass sentence on Oakley later today.Oakley was found guilty of obtaining £15,000 from Adrian Ramian by deception by claiming the money was to be invested in a holiday resort in Antigua.The jury also returned guilty verdicts on 11 other charges, including that Oakley ran Caribbean Marketing UK Ltd and Voyager International Ltd, and formed and promoted VIP Connections Ltd when he was banned from being a company director. He was also found guilty of fraudulently running two of the businesses knowing that the liabilities could not be met.He was found guilty of five specimen offences of forging cheques using Mr Ramian’s signature. And he was found guilty of perverting the course of justice by giving false evidence in a civil case to prevent his home being repossessed.He had initially denied all 14 offences which took place on dates between May 1999 and November 2002.However, he had been in contact with his barrister, Mr John Gruffydd, by fax and made admissions in connection with 11 of the 14 charges he faced.Two of allegations - of perverting the course of justice in a speeding case and fraudulent trading with VIP Connections Ltd - are expected to lie on file

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