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Lorry driver faces substantial prison sentence for Ritz sale scam

02 July 2010 by
Lorry driver faces substantial prison sentence for Ritz sale scam

A jobless lorry driver found guilty of a scam to sell the Ritz hotel]( faces an "immediate and quite substantial custodial sentence".

Anthony Lee from Goole, Yorkshire, convinced victims that he was an associate of the reclusive billionaire Barclay brothers, and that the pair wanted to sell the iconic hotel for £250m.

He persuaded potential buyer Terence Collins to hand over £1m to help secure the deal, but never returned it when the fabricated sale supposedly fell through.

Lee was found guilty of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception at Southwark Crown Court.

Det Sgt Garry Ridler, who led the two-year investigation for North Yorkshire Police, said: "This man is your typical fraudster. He gains the trust of people through lies and once he's got them under his control, he extracts the money from them."

Retired Patrick Dolan, of London, and solicitor Conn Farrell from Aldershot, Hampshire, were both cleared of the charges against them relating to the scam.

Judge Stephen Robbins told Lee he faces an "immediate and quite substantial custodial sentence". The prison term will be handed down on 27 July.

[Three men in court over scam to sell the Ritz hotel>>](ttp://

Three men deny conspiracy to sell Ritz hotel for £250m >>

[Business man duped into buying London's Ritz hotel>>](

By Tom Vaughan

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