Man defrauded friends of almost £35k in online discount goods scam

A man defrauded friends of almost £35,000 through an online discount goods scam.

Reece Casey, 31, was warned he could face jail after pleading guilty to fraud at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Casey, of Maughan Street, Dudley, West Midlands, claimed he could bag bargains for items online – and pals flocked to order.

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But he never fulfilled his side of the deal, leaving them significantly out of pocket.

He will be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court in November.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said there were “a large number of people defrauded by the defendant”.

He added: “It involves a lot of witness and friends’ transactions.

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“This gentleman contacts some friends and says, ‘I can get you deals with discounts’.

“They are keen to get a bargain in these times when people are short of money.

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“They engage with him, but the goods never arrive and he’s never in a position to get them.

“There’s a lot of people out of pocket for quite a lot of money, it’s just short of £35,000.

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“It seems clear that this is a matter that has to be finalised at the crown court. It’s a range of 18 months to four years’ custody.”

The court heard Casey has previous criminal convictions, but non-fraud related.

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He pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud by false representation in Sunderland between May 29 and June 22 last year.

Kelly Sherif, defending, said: “I don’t disagree with my friend’s submission about where this should head.

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“The defendant is lightly convicted. He has no previous convictions for this kind of offence.”

Magistrates ordered a pre-sentence report and told Casey he will be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on Tuesday, November 1.