Forgery fraudster jailed for 18 months
A former police worker who conned his way into being awarded an MBE was sentenced to 18 months in prison today. Michael Eke, of March, Cambridgeshire, carried out an elaborate plan to get himself on the honours list. He appeared before the Queen at Buckin
A former police worker who conned his way into being awarded an MBE was sentenced to 18 months in prison today.
Michael Eke, of March, Cambridgeshire, carried out an elaborate plan to get himself on the honours list.
He appeared before the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2003 for services to the community.
The 38-year-old forged a number of letters, one of which was supported by Tory MP Malcolm Moss, who assumed it was genuine.
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In a little over four years, Eke obtained £66,000 by a number of sophisticated deceptions, Norwich Crown Court heard today.
He pocketed thousands of pounds in lottery grants, claiming cash would pay for shows and events for young people in his home town.
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He also sold computers, cameras and other electrical goods from his employer, Cambridgeshire Police, and the March Air Training Corps (ACT), of which he was squadron leader.
Sam Mainds, prosecuting, told the court it was the first time the Cabinet Office had been deceived by a simple forgery.
"This is an extraordinary case and an extraordinary defendant," he said.
"This defendant, over a period of a little over four years, obtained a total of £66,000 by a number of sophisticated deceptions practised on a variety of victims, who in at least two cases the average conman would not have dared go near.''
Mr Mainds told the court how Eke had provided false references to get a job as a stationery stores manager with Cambridgeshire Police.
He said Eke had told the force he had been made redundant from his previous job as a regional control manager at Superdrug when he had in fact been dismissed.
The court also heard how Eke had falsified ATC invoices and obtained printed brochures for RAF music events by falsely claiming that his employers, Cambridgeshire Police, had agreed to pay for them.
Mr Mainds said Eke then went on to steal thousands of pounds worth of computers and cameras from the force.
Eke also obtained thousands of pounds in lottery money, supposedly to stage charity events and an arts festival to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee.
The court heard how Eke had also sold candles - paid for by Cambridgeshire Police - to St Peter's Church in March for their carol service three years running, and put the money in his own account.
Eke was responsible for raising money to replace musical instruments after the headquarters of the March ATC was burgled in December 2002, Mr Mainds said.