Shropshire Star

Con artist pub boss in £2 million fraud changed name, claimed he was successful author to fool banks

A former pub boss who tried to con nearly £2 million out of several investment banks has been jailed.

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Shrewsbury Crown Court

Prolific fraudster Christopher Peach, formerly of the Black Lion Hotel in Scotland Street, Ellesmere, tried to swindle huge sums in a series of cheque frauds.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard on Monday how Peach, who changed his name via deed poll to Christopher Hill to avoid his 10-year bankruptcy order being detected by banks, submitted cheques for large amounts of money which he did not have. Before the investment firms had the chance to clear the cheques, he would take cash out of their accounts.

After Kiran Pourawal, prosecuting, explained the method of Peach's crimes, Judge Anthony Lowe said: "I thought that's what happened, I just couldn't believe that it could," insisting he thought the banks would have systems in place to stop such frauds taking place.

Not all of the frauds were successful but, as simplistic as the judge thought they were, Peach ultimately managed to get his hands on more than £240,000.

Miss Pourawal told how Peach submitted a cheque to Vanguard Asset Management, before quickly withdrawing funds. Judge Lowe was surprised how he could "transfer £50,000 of fresh air" into the account, before taking £46,000 in real money.