A VENTURE accountant who defrauded his widower friend out of thousands of pounds before taking £8,000 from his credit card to cover his gambling addiction has been jailed.

Andrew Barrett, 33, was ordered to pay £15,384 to his victim after he conned his friend into unknowingly spending £1,200 on a payday loan.

Cavendish Press 5 Andrew Barrett, 33, conned his friend into unknowingly spending £1,200 on a payday loan

Barrett, of Tewkesbury, Gloucs, admitted at Gloucester Crown Court two charges of fraud by false representation.

Barrett admitted making fraudulent transactions to Bank of Scotland between January 3 and March 3.

He also admitted making fraudulent fraudulent payments between January 3 and March 3.

South Central Ambulance Service ambulance crew received a call from Barrett’s victim, 78, in Putney, London, for urgent medical assistance.

Cavendish Press 5 The court heard that Andrew Barrett made fraudulent transactions to Bank of Scotland between January 3 and March 3

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Investigation concluded that the victim’s credit card was used at a takeaway shop in Putney in London, and he then received a letter informing him he had been charged for the purchase.

Upon reviewing the transaction details, investigators saw the victim made purchase amounts that appeared to be related to credit card transactions to a friend and then the creditor.

He was then instructed to take out a payday loan at interest of 2 per cent for repayment of the money he had borrowed.

After the fraud, he started seeing his former friend who said he loved him.

9th Police Photo South Central Ambulance crew had to deal with a distressed pensioner

Getty Images 5 Andrew Barrett was handed a four-year sentence at Gloucester Crown Court

The victim contacted the Police and Citizens Advice Commission, and suggested Barrett use his victim’s credit card for payments.

Barrett agreed to transfer money in cash from the victim’s account to his account with an address in the Lloyds Bank branch in Lymington, Hampshire.

The scam began when the victim opened a new bank account, then signed a credit card transaction account which was opened under the pseudonym Giles Grant.

The man opened the account, and received a text message from a fraudster referring to the same account.

Barrett then continued the fraud, borrowing from the victim’s account on multiple occasions.

Barrett claimed his victim’s credit card was used to make further purchases totalling £16,476, using the victim’s credit card number.

Cavendish Press 5 Barrett admitted two charges of fraud by false representation

The victim disputed the transactions and returned to the bank two days later, and witnessed his card being immediately declined by the bank.

A bank teller notified the police, and detectives questioned Barrett.

Detectives found a genuine eight-week loan, but the transactions had been made to a friend or relative using his PIN.

A late payment order on the fraudster’s balance sheet failed on March 7, with £1,200 in cash, although the fraudster told police he paid the balance out on his balance sheet.

A subsequent police investigation revealed that based on cash transactions to and from the victim’s own account, the card had been used to make items bought without his knowledge.

That money had been used to fund a drinking binge on February 28 and 29.

Barrett was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison and banned from holding a bank card for 10 years, saying: “It’s a family business and if you want to do it you must do it.

“I’m just a guy who used a card. It was just a mistake on my part. I’m innocent.”

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