A MAN who conned his Chester neighbour out of more than £50,000 by forging his signature has been jailed for 18 months.
Gary Taylor, 50, of Needham Drive, Holmes Chapel, had pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery and one count of theft on October 6 and was sentenced at Chester Crown Court on November 7.
Taylor had moved to Picton in 2000 and developed a friendship with his neighbour Ian Jones.
Prosecuting, Peter Moss told the court: “In February 2002 they decided to go into business together. Ian Jones had some savings and they would go into the property investment business.”
The court heard how Mr Jones was to be a sleeping partner in the company, called A2GO.
It was agreed he would invest the money and Taylor would do the work, then Mr Jones would get back the money he invested and they would split any profit.
The court heard how two properties were bought and sold almost immediately by the pair then a further four properties were bought in the North West.
Mr Moss said: “What the defendant did was sell these four properties, forging Ian Jones’s name on the transfer deeds. He sold these four properties and pocketed the difference.”
The court heard how three properties were sold at a profit and one at a loss without Mr Jones’s knowledge.
Mr Moss said: “The first time the victim’s suspicions were raised was in July 2004 when he received a letter saying that he owed £15,000 on an Egg loan.”
After investigation by a solicitor, Mr Jones contacted the police in June 2006.
The court heard it had taken this long to get to court because of the extensive paper trail which had to be investigated.
Mr Moss said, after all the money invested and profit lost, Mr Jones lost £71,901.98.
This was not the first time Taylor has been convicted of forgery. In 1995 he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment after forging his ex wife’s signature on a legal document.