Man who committed Boots gift card scam jailed after taking advantage of secret loophole

A businessman who carried out a massive £736,000 Boots gift card scam in just two months has been jailed for 33 months.

The 37-year-old scammer was able to get the cards for free by filling out an order form and asked for them to be credited with no intention of refunding the cash back.

Jurors heard how a postman recalled a series of ‘special deliveries’ to the apparent Bell payment and transport company run from a large hut at a business park in Bishopbriggs, east Dunbartonshire.

Brazen Bell was finally caught when he tried to get his hands on another £150,000 worth of gift cards.

He is now behind bars after being convicted of participating in a fraudulent scheme against Boots between September and November 2017.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard the scammer was behind a wholesaler called Bells of Bishopbriggs.

In her closing speech, prosecutor Hannah Terrance told jurors, “Bell had no intention of paying for this credit.

“He exploited a loophole and made false pretenses as part of the fraudulent scam.”

The amounts of gift cards that Bell, now of the town’s Tollcross, illegally got hold of various, including for £7,500.

Bell spent over half a million pounds on gift cards across 30,000 transactions.

Miss Terrance told the court: ‘Her postman described his business premises as a shack.

“All he could say was that Bell regularly received special deliveries.”

The lawsuit heard that Bell was finally ‘stopped dead’ on November 27, 2017 following an offer for an additional £150,000 in gift cards.

The huge sum was never repaid to Boots. We also don’t know what the money was used for.

Bell instead told police he asked for the cards in order to give them as gifts to staff and as a “customer incentive”.

It claimed to have 40 employees – but the postman who made the deliveries said he only saw one person working there.

Boots first contacted Bells when the fraud was discovered, but he never responded.

The company was able to cancel the rest of the cards due to their unique serial numbers.

David Adams, defending, told jurors that Bell was unaware of the system error at Boots.

He added: “It was not a crime.

“Boots allowed him to do this due to an error on his part.

“His business was having cash flow problems, his customers weren’t paying him and he couldn’t pay suppliers – including Boots.”

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