A fraudster who tricked four victims into paying a total of £159,000 into a sham investment fund has been jailed.

Alan Skinner

Tritex Global Limited invited clients to participate in a form of fixed-odds betting known as binary option trading, in which those involved make predictions on the movement of stocks and shares.

Whilst this type of trading is very high risk and has since been banned in the UK, an investigation by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate found that none of the money paid into the fund had actually been invested and instead the sole director of the company, Alan Skinner, 57, from West Kingsdown, had used it to fund his own lifestyle.

He has now been jailed for two years and seven months after pleading guilty to conspiring to defraud those who invested with Tritex Global.

The victims were all cold-called and persuaded to part with their money in 2017, having also received an electronic brochure in which they were promised access to dedicated account managers, trading experts and round-the-clock customer service.

Each person was also granted access to their own dedicated webpage containing figures that supposedly showed how their investments had increased in value, but when they requested to withdraw their money they were given various excuses as to why this was not possible.

It soon became clear that Tritex Global had no money in its company bank account, resulting in reports being made to the national fraud reporting centre Action Fraud. The matter was referred to Kent Police and following a complex investigation Skinner was charged in January 2023 and sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday 26 April 2024.

Detective Sergeant Adam Stallard said:

‘Alan Skinner set up an elaborate scheme to win the trust of his victims who spent huge sums of money hoping for a positive return on their investments. Instead he was greedily spending it all on himself, sparing little to no thought for those he had betrayed and left out of pocket.

‘I hope this case serves as a cautionary tale to anyone who considers making investments in the future, especially if you are contacted out of the blue by a company you have never heard of before.

‘Never allow yourself to be rushed into making an investment and remember that a legitimate organisation will never pressure you into investing on the spot. Always seek advice before making significant financial decisions and use the Financial Conduct Authority’s register to check if a company is regulated.’

By Ed

©2024 Hawkinge Gazette       -       The Hawkinge Gazette is not responsible for the content of external sites