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Fraudsters jailed after GP practice telephone scam

Two fraudsters have been jailed for after convincing GPs to hand over thousands of pounds in a fake phone scam.

Daniel Cullen was sentenced to three years and Daniel Buttle 18 months for posing as agents working on behalf of major phone providers telling GPs they needed to replace their analogue phone systems with new digital ones.

GPs were told they would get their phone equipment replaced free of charge and that contracts would only last a year, but they were misled. They subsequently discovered they faced paying bills worth tens of thousands to rent equipment with contracts running for years.

Both men were convicted at St Alban's Crown Court after both pleaded guilty of two offences of fraudulent trading and Mr Cullen admitted a further offence of conspiracy to defraud.

They were jailed with the help of evidence provided by Essex-based GP, Dr John Cormack, who recorded meetings with the two when he became suspicious of their business.

Dr Cormack said the men ‘got off fairly lightly'.

‘The victims will be pursued for years by the big companies, threatened with legal action and taken to court.'

‘I know of three other GPs and two dentists that have been scammed so this is clearly an area of the law that needs addressed. They have gone for all sorts of businesses including a not-for-profit care home and a primary school.'

Dr Cormack is battling not to pay bills worth up to £40,000 to lease phone equipment from Shire Leasing, who claim to have no knowledge of the scam run by the two men.