Daniel Bates, a man from Portsmouth, could be facing jail time after it was revealed that he cheated 19 people out of £99,000. According to details given to the Portsmouth Crown Court, Daniel Bates tracked down each of the individuals to tell them that they were beneficiaries in unclaimed wills and made them sign contracts under the pretence that he would claim the cash for them. Daniel Bates agreed to pay the beneficiaries the money, minus 25%. However Bates did not do this, according to prosecutor Kriston Berlevy, and he instead resorted to delaying tactics and even became aggressive.
One of the victims of Mr Bates was Charity Age UK who were supposed to receive £21, 637 from an unclaimed will. However, Bates who resides in Beach Gardens in Selsey failed to forward the money after receiving it. During the course of the case, Bates’ home burned down for which he has received £160,000 from his insurance company.
Mr Bates set up an heir hunter firm in 2012. The firm was legitimate during the period Bates was committing the fraudulent acts which were between July 2012 and June 2014. Speaking during the case, the prosecutor stated that Bates had identified the heirs, secured the contracts and received the money which was a fairly easy task but he then stopped contacting the beneficiaries or used delay tactics or lied when contacted by the beneficiaries. Following a court judgement, one of the victims, an NHS manager named Victor Makin managed to get £2,083 out of the £13,852 that was owed to him.
Another of the victims, an elderly lady, thought that she was signing a contract with Bates for him to make a family tree. When she didn’t receive anything from Bates, the lady proceeded to call the police. She was supposed to receive £8,030. After she signed the contract, she didn’t hear anything from Bates for a long time according to the prosecutor. Bates promised that he would pay the cash but failed to do so in the end.
The case was adjourned to next month by Judge Roger Hetherington who said that it was only right that the ‘greedy’ Bates gets a chance to pay the monies owed since he was facing a 2-year jail sentence. The judge did add that he wasn’t going to let him get away with committing 19 frauds.