Cricklewood man found guilty of £132k bank scam walks free from court
PUBLISHED: 11:34 22 August 2014
A businessman from Cricklewood who went on a spending spree with £132,000 siphoned into his account from unsuspecting victims has walked free from court.
Martino Remani, 58, of Hamlet Square, blew more £72,000 on Apple electronics, designer Louis Vuitton merchandise and top-of-the-range luxury jewellery in a three-day shopping binge.
The lavish purchases were funded by money taken from HSBC and Barclays Bank customers and funnelled into Remani’s American Express account.
Remani agreed for more than £132,000 to be paid to him while the banks were closed for the Easter weekend last year.
He started his shopping spree on March 29 and was caught on April 5 when he tried to buy £1,500 of cigarettes at Waitrose in Westfield and staff became suspicious.
Judge Brian O’Neill QC said Remani’s denials during his trial were ‘implausible and fanciful’, noting the businessman continues to protest his innocence even after his conviction.
Handing him down a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, he said: “By their verdicts, the jury clearly rejected your account, which was so implausible and fanciful there is little surprise they rejected it.
“I don’t believe sending a man of your age and station in life straight away to prison will serve any purpose.”
Remani was also ordered to do 150 hours community service and must pay back £68,203 to American Express in compensation.
He was convicted of converting criminal property at the Old Bailey last month.
During his trial he was unemployed but the court heard he has an offer of work as a £35,000-a-year embroidery manager at AAA Linen Service, based in Park Royal.
Related link: Cricklewood businessman faces jail for £132k bank scam
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