Fraudster jailed over £450k land deal scam

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A man has been jailed over a £450,000 land development scheme scam.

Jason Lee Churchill, aged 46, of Duchy Grove, Harrogate, was sentenced to four years behind bars following a three-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

He was found guilty of three counts of fraud by false representation on Friday.

Jurors heard how, in 2009, Churchill approached a number of different companies across the country trying to sell land and property development deals in Yorkshire.

At the time, the recession was beginning to take hold and selling assets was difficult.

Churchill negotiated with companies and individuals to buy their properties through his company Bridge Properties (Yorkshire) Limited, negotiating on the sale price and asking for an additional ‘vendor gifted deposit’, which gave him an extra discount on the price.

He arranged for the cash to be deposited in separate bank accounts.

The money was used to pay Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs an outstanding sum of money.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “The police investigation began in 2009 when South Yorkshire Police received intelligence from a number of financial institutions.”