Salesmen who sold overpriced diamonds from a company linked to TOWIE star Dan Edgar are jailed for a total of 11 years for a £415,000 investment con
- Martin Ball, Aaron Fay, and Sudir Kundi, sold diamonds for Reco Commodities
- TOWIE cast member Dan Edgar described as an operations manager at the firm
- Fay sentenced to four and a half years, while Ball and Kundi got three and a half
Aaron Fay (pictured) was sentenced to four and a half years for conspiracy to defraud after a three week trial at Southwark Crown Court
Three salesmen who sold overpriced diamonds from a company linked to TOWIE star Dan Edgar have been jailed for a total of 11 years for a £415,000 investment con.
Martin Ball, 30, Aaron Fay, 31, and Sudir Kundi, 39, marketed and sold diamonds for inflated prices through Reco Commodities between September 2013 and June 2014.
Dan Edgar, 27, who joined the cast of The Only Way is Essex in 2015, was described as an operations manager at the London-based company, but he did not appear in court.
Reco Commodities claimed to securely store diamonds for customers in a private vault in Hatton Garden, but investigators discovered only one customer ever received the diamond they purchased.
The company also said it managed more than 2,000 clients, but in reality there were less than 30 on the books.
Ball, Fay and Kundi were convicted of conspiracy to defraud after a three week trial at Southwark Crown Court.
Judge Marc Dight said: ‘This was fraudulent activity sustained over a long period of time.’
The fraud came to light when Fay reported a break-in at the company’s headquarters on King William Street in April 2014.
Police believed the operation to be suspicious and raided the offices the following day, the court heard.
Fay, Martin Ball (right) and Sudir Kundi (left) marketed and sold diamonds for inflated prices through Reco Commodities between September 2013 and June 2014
Officers then found Edgar’s ID card on one of the desks, alongside a number of sales scripts.
One script included a quote from comedy character Alan Partridge, which read: ‘My definition of a great salesman is someone who can convince white mice that black cats are lucky.’
The guides gave salesmen scripted answers to common customer questions.
One of the responses was for potential investors worried about what their wives would think about investing with Reco Commodities.
The salesmen were told to assure investors that: ’87 per cent of the top financial brokers are men,’ and ‘you, like me, know that she [the investor’s wife] will be perfectly happy to spend these profits.’
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The script concluded with: ‘You need to let go of the twig of mediocrity and branch out for success.’
Many of the documents instructed the salesmen to play on potential investors’ fears and emotions.
One read: ‘Massive pressure has now been applied. We now enter the third most powerful emotion – pleasure.’
Reco Commodities claimed to have 15 years trading experience and more than 2,000 clients.
But an investigator from the government’s Insolvency Service described the company as ‘a room full of screaming eighteen year olds… like a boiler room.’
Dan Edgar, who was not on trial, was described as an operations manager at the London-based company
Retired IT consultant Howard Langley, 74, told jurors he was persuaded to part with £3,000 of his savings after he received a cold-call from Fay.
Mr Langley said: ‘He wanted me to get into the diamond market and suggested I buy one diamond to begin with and hopefully buy more diamonds from him.
‘It was basically to make some money – he suggested that if I bought the diamond, he would put it in the first available auction and I would get a 9 percent return.
‘He said that he was the owner of it, that he would let me have it to then sell it at the auction a few months later.’
But Mr Langley never received his diamond and Fay told him there was no need because it was in storage.
When he tried calling back, Mr Langley was told Fay was off sick but to wait for an upcoming auction date.
That date came and went and the pensioner never saw the diamond or his cash again.
Another investor, Timothy Snook, lost £16,000 on one diamond alone after being promised returns of up to 16 percent.
‘They then sent me a letter from a Daniel Edgar who described himself as an operations manager,’ he said in a statement read to the court.
Michael Delaney bought four coloured diamonds from the company after he was promised a 26 percent profit, the court heard.
He was offered another diamond but refused and never heard from the company again.
Jurors heard Reco Commodities occasionally sent out gems from a company called A. S. Diamonds after customers persisted.
In one case, a customer was charged £4,998 for a yellow diamond the fraudsters bought for £904.
Edgar’s involvement in Reco Commodities emerged after the company was wound up in the High Court.
He was banned by the court from directing or promoting a limited liability company until 2031.
Fay, Ball and Kundi were each convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud.
Fay was sentenced to four and a half years, while Ball and Kundi were each handed three and a half years behind bars.
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