Two members of a gang that stole from a disabled £1m lottery winner have been sentenced to jail for a total of 6 years.
The 31-year-old Lee Khan and 26-year-old Aaron Harvey squandered the vulnerable woman’s money on gambling websites. The victim’s identity was used to wager more than £41,000 in 100 minutes.
One of the gang members even pretended to be the victim’s boyfriend, stealing £75,000 from her over one weekend.
The two Middlesbrough men admitted conspiracy to steal and have both been sentenced to jail for 3 years. Khan also admitted 3 thefts. The remaining 2 members of the gang will be sentenced at a later date.
Aside from setting up online betting accounts, Khan spent £15,500 of the lottery winner’s money in a share dealing account and paid off two credit cards. The woman lost a sum of £60,000 as a result.
Detective Constable Rachel Graham pointed out that she believed the victim was targeted due to her vulnerability. The disabled woman became a millionaire in 2013 after winning the National Lottery.
“I would personally like to thank her for her patience and tenacity,” said Graham.
“The defendants in this case were callous; they pretended to be her friends, one even took the role of the victim’s boyfriend to get close enough to steal her bank card and personal identification number.”
The gambling company refunded the woman most of her money after the account opened by the thieves was frozen. However, she remained £16,414 out of pocket. Her health deteriorated drastically thanks to the incident, leaving her “sick, beaten and saddened”.