TWO MEN from Tonbridge have been acquitted of involvement in a wine fraud of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Bradley Deadman, 23 of Lodge Road and Lewis Hearson, 22, of Downgate Close had denied four charges of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
A third man Harry Mosley, of Sevenoaks, first denied two offences of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, but changed his pleas to guilty on the seventh day of the trial.
Maidstone Crown Court heard Mosley, 25, and others cold-called mainly elderly customers on behalf of his company Optimum Fine Wine, based in Church Road, Tunbridge Wells and cheated them out of more than £430,000
“So if the Daily Mail print an article about mine and Bradley Deadman unanimous acquittal, are you all going to share that as well?
He blew a kiss to his father and put his thumb up as he was led to the cells to serve his sentence of four years and four months.
One victim, aged 84, lost £205,460 after handing over the money to purchase wine to be held in warehouse storage at London City Bond.
But Mosley never bought the wine and failed to refund the money. Prosecutor Dale Sullivan said Mosley had ‘cut and run’ and used the money to fund a luxury lifestyle which included spending about £100,000 at bars, restaurants, hotels and on designer clothes.
In total, Mosley’s firm Optimum Fine Wine duped 15 customers into handing over money to invest in wines or believing they were swapping their portfolios between September 2012 and May 2014. At least two of the victims had since died.
Lewis Hearson expressed his frustration on having his name besmirched by the case which attracted the attention of national newspapers and the Tonbridge community on social media. “So if the Daily Mail print an article about mine and Bradley Deadman unanimous acquittal, are you all going to share that as well?,” he asked on Facebook.