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Four sentenced for railway ticket fraud - Bournemouth

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James Jennings

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Four people have been sentenced for their involvement in making and selling fake railway tickets over a number of years in the Bournemouth area.

James Jennings, aged 51, of Owls Road, Bournemouth, a part-time taxi driver, led an organised criminal enterprise in making and selling fraudulent railway tickets between 2009 and 2016, and used his ill-gotten cash to fund a lavish lifestyle.

Jennings pleaded guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court on 19 April this year to one count of making, adapting, supplying or offering to supply articles for use in fraud, contrary to section 7 of the Fraud Act 2006, between 31 December 2009 and 16 December 2016 and was sentenced at the same court on Friday (5/5) to three years in prison.

Marc Julian Garcia, aged 56, of Golden Green, Tonbridge, pleaded guilty to supplying or offering to supply articles for use in fraud, between 31 December 2009 and 16 December 2016.

He was given a six month community order plus a curfew for six weeks. He was also ordered to pay £500 in costs. 

His son Marc Oliver James Garcia, aged 26, of Golden Green, Tonbridge, pleaded guilty to possessing articles for use in fraud contrary to section 6 of the fraud act 2006, between 31 December 2009 and 16 December 2016.

He was ordered to pay £380 compensation, £120 fine and £500 costs. 

Mark Duroe, aged 44, of Warwick Road, Bournemouth, pleaded guilty on 13 April to possessing articles for use in fraud contrary section 6 of the Fraud Act 2006 between 31 December 2009 and 16 December 2016.

He was ordered to pay £4036 compensation, £500 fine and £500 costs.

Jennings had prior knowledge of the railway industry having worked for South West Trains until 2004. He began producing open-ended railway tickets to order, using blank tickets and a computer and printer. The tickets were for travel all over the country, but a large proportion of his client base was in Bournemouth.

Duroe, Garcia and Garcia were identified as regular purchasers of the fraudulent tickets.

Jennings was arrested in October 2016 as part of British Transport Police’s Operation Steelman.

His house was searched and a red holdall containing a printer and computer items was recovered. The printer was forensically examined and was found to have been printing railway tickets.

All four offenders were all charged on 13 December 2016.

Investigating officer, Det Sgt Nick Thompson said: “This was a sophisticated fraud organised by an individual who used to work on the railway and used his insider knowledge to circumvent an attempt to create fraudulent tickets, not only exposing himself to risk but also those who purchased from him.

“Over the years he became more and more blatant about the onward sale and exchange of fraudulently produced rail tickets for cash and his confidence was buoyed as he avoided detection.

“This all changed when he was arrested in 2016 and we have now successfully shut down this illegal ticket producing operation.

“Fraud on this scale against railway companies tends to have a knock-on effect on the public.

“It is not right that some people should enjoy an opulent lifestyle at the expense of others, by stealing from legitimate companies, causing losses to their revenue and as a result impacting on the costs of rail fares for honest, paying passengers.

“This operation shows that police take this matter very seriously and will look to prosecute those involved.”

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