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Fraudster who tricked man out of £25,000 to invest in computer app is jailed

PUBLISHED: 17:58 28 October 2014 | UPDATED: 17:58 28 October 2014

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

A fraudster who tricked a man out of £25,000 by persuading him to invest in a computer application he claimed he was developing has been jailed for three years.

A fraudster who tricked a man out of £25,000 by persuading him to invest in a computer application he claimed he was developing has been jailed for three years.

David Vaughan-Jones told 25-year-old Ben Edington he had invented an app called ‘digisplash’, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

When Mr Edington showed an interest in it, Vaughan-Jones invited him to become a partner in return for an investment, the court heard.

Vaughan-Jones persuaded Mr Edington to invest £25,000 in the project and at one stage told him that an Egyptian sheikh wanted to buy the app for £1 million, said Rebecca Fairbairn, prosecuting.

He showed Mr Edington bank documents which turned out to be false and also told him that other people wanted to join the partnership - but that he had turned them down because he was loyal to Mr Edington.

Eventually Mr Edington became suspicious and unsuccessfully tried to get his money back, said Miss Fairbairn.

Vaughan-Jones, 32, of Longbrook Close, Lowestoft, admitted fraud by false representation between May and August this year.

Jailing him for three years, Recorder Simon Blackford told Vaughan-Jones the fraud was “particularly nasty” and said he had cheated Mr Edington out of £25,000 he had saved from his earnings for a house deposit.

In a victim statement read to the court, Mr Edington said he had been “sold a dream” and had been given empty promises.

“I was befriended while being betrayed,” said Mr Edington, who said the incident had destroyed his trust in people and had left him feeling anxious and unable to sleep properly.

“This has crippled me financially,” he said.

Vaughan-Jones told police he had run up a £20,000 drug debt and had used Mr Edington’s money to repay £17,000 to his dealer. He said he had used the rest to buy a motor bike and to pay household bills.

Ian James, for Vaughan-Jones, said his client had been developing a genuine app and had not set out to defraud Mr Edington.

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