Sheffield fraudsters jailed after conning Lloyds bank out of nearly £45,000

Two Sheffield fraudsters have been put behind bars after they were involved in a phone scam which conned a bank out of nearly £45,000.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 3:51 pm

Sheffield Crown Court heard on November 10 how Dwight Watkinson, aged 30, of Norfolk Road, near Park Hill, and Dario Goncalves, 43, of Pye Bank Road, near Burngreave, committed the phone scam between 2013 and 2020 on the Lloyds banking group.

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Andrew Bailey, prosecuting, said they created numerous bank accounts with various false names and phoned the Lloyds banking group hundreds of different times to complain about the process or poor service and received various amounts of compensation.

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Dario Goncalves and Dwight Watkinson were both jailed after they admitted conspiring to commit fraud by false representation. Goncalves, aged 43, of Pye Bank Road, near Burngreave, and Watkinson, 30, of Norfolk Road, near Park Hill, were sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court

There were over 1,600 calls and 807 of them resulted in individual compensation payouts ranging from £8 to £364 and during some of the calls Watkinson had been extremely abusive, according to Mr Bailey.

Mr Bailey said: “The defendants’ activity was noticed by the bank because of the sheer volume of calls and the use of the same or similar names and addresses and this resulted in an investigation by the bank.”

Police discovered the defendants had mobile phones, paperwork and notes with bank details linking them to the offences with over 8,000 relevant calls found on two mobile phones connected to Goncalves and over 5,000 on three phones connected to Watkinson.

Goncalves and Watkinson, who have previous convictions, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit fraud by false representation.

Dwight Watkinson, 30, of Norfolk Road, near Park Hill, was jailed after he admitted conspiring to commit fraud by false representation

Helen Chapman, defending, said Watkinson has a record indicative of a drug-user and she described the fraud matter as not particularly sophisticated.

Ms Chapman added that following the murder of Watkinson’s brother his drug addiction deteriorated.

Nicola Hornby, defending, said Goncalves came to the UK from Portugal in 2004 but after he lost work through no fault of his own he developed mental health issues and started misusing drugs.

Judge Roger Thomas told the defendants: “In a sense the fraud you were perpetrating time and time, and time again was fairly simple and fairly simply executed.”

Dario Goncalves, aged 43, of Pye Bank Road, near Burngreave, was jailed after he admitted conspiring to commit fraud by false representation

He added: “You dishonestly obtained about £45,000 in round figures in false compensation. Some of the claims were as little as £8. They ranged on occasion to sums of a good few hundred pounds.”

Judge Thomas sentenced both defendants to 27 months of custody each.