Calvin and Jared Ainsworth jailed over £100k eBay scam after blowing loot on casinos and luxury holidays
Written by The Newsroom on November 27, 2019
Two crooked brothers fled abroad after masterminding a £100,000-plus eBay sales scam – leaving a trail of devastated victims in their wake.
Calvin and Jared Ainsworth roped in unsuspecting stooges to sell cut-price items on their own accounts – but the items were never delivered and the pair trousered the profits.
The pair blew the cash on gambling in casinos and business class trips to the Philippines – and fled back there as the net closed in, leaving those who sold the goods to face the music as police probed more than 100 fraud complaints.
Some were hounded by bailiffs chasing debts owed to duped customers, police said. One woman was forced to re-mortgage her home while another spiralled into depression.
Calvin, 26, was arrested at a flat the pair shared in Great Colmore Street, near Birmingham city centre, in September 2015 but skipped bail and returned to the Philippines, where his 31-year-old brother later joined him.
Both were returned to the UK earlier this year. Calvin admitted 35 counts of fraud by false representation and was jailed for five years and seven months at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday, November 22.
Jared, was jailed for three years and four months after he admitted three counts of money laundering and possessing a Taser.
His girlfriend Ameena Hussain was given a suspended jail term and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid community service after she admitted money laundering, possessing criminal property and lying in order to obtain a passport.
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West Midlands Police said the brothers pretended to run recruitment agencies and looked for trading assistants to help sell phones and tablets online.
The unwitting sellers they recruited posted the electronics on eBay, offering them at lower prices and then handed the cash to Jared and Hussein, who acted as couriers, and collected at least £106,000.
Dozens of complaints were made to the national Action Fraud reporting centre and West Midlands Police’s Economic Crime Unit picked up the case in 2015.
They initially traced a web IP address used to contact the victims to Calvin Ainsworth’s former home in Beech Close, Rugeley.
A police warrant was issued for an address in Sheffield for Hussain.
Calvin was detained in June 2018 by the Philippine Fugitive Search Unit and returned to the UK in June this year.
Jared was initially arrested at Manchester Airport arrivals in November 2015 and was found with a Taser-type stun device, disguised as a torch.
He also fled to the Philippines but was arrested on August 15 this year when he surrendered.
Hussain’s attempt to escape was stopped when officials alerted the police about her application for a new passport.
Det Con Louise Watt, from the force’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “This was a large-scale fraud; bogus job adverts were placed on Facebook, Reed, Monster, Total Jobs and other sites and there was no shortage of applicants.
“They were asked to post electrical items for sale…but the products didn’t exist. We’ve identified 115 victims – many in the West Midlands but others in Blackpool, Manchester and Leeds – and that figure I’d suggest is the tip of the iceberg.
“Some victims were chased by debt collection agencies and suffered huge amounts of stress at being tricked while the Ainsworths spent their criminal cash on luxury holidays.
“This has been a painstaking investigation stretching back several years. We linked the brothers to the frauds through detailed analysis of their phone activity, computer use and financial dealings. The compelling evidence led to all three admitting their guilt.
“I hope this case illustrates that serious fraud conspiracies like this will be fully investigated and offenders face time behind bars.”
Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via Birmingham Mail - Rugeley News