A MOTTINGHAM conman who convinced people they had won the lottery before charging them fees that bagged him £788,297 is facing jail.
Southwark Crown Court heard how Patrick Emuh, aged 54, of Bromhedge, cold-called and emailed at least 20 people from around the world, telling them they had won a lottery or inherited money from a distant relative.
Having tricked his victims into believing they were in line for thousands of pounds, Emuh instructed them to pay advance fees, taxes and handling charges to lay their hands on the cash.
In some cases, a person pretending to be a lawyer contacted victims to help them claim the sums, charging them more money.
The victims were asked to pay the money into bank accounts or by cash transfer. Some were talked into travelling to the UK where they were met by people posing as businessmen.
Police have already seized £60,000 from the conman and are now applying for a confiscation order to compensate the victims.
Emuh was convicted of 19 counts of acquiring criminal property and is scheduled to appear for sentence at the same court on January 8.
Financial investigator Doug Ferns of the Met's Specialist and Economic Crime Command said: "Emuh tricked people into believing they had struck it lucky and when he was caught out he had the audacity to claim that the victims were in fact business customers.
"A thorough investigation of his bank accounts, mobile phones and computer combined with the many witness statements allowed us to see right through his story.
"People like Emuh are driven by greed and because of the potential pay off of a con like this they will go to unbelievable lengths to convince their victim that it is genuine, as Emuh did.
"If a stranger contacts you saying you have inherited money or won a lottery and must pay fees to access your windfall, do not believe it. Call the police."
For advice on these scams visit actionfraud.police.uk