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Jailed conman who tricked dying friend given bankruptcy order

Keith Cameron was given the 13-year order after committing a 'fraudulent breach of trust'.

By STV News

Published 23 Mar 2016.

A businessman who defrauded a terminally ill friend out of nearly half a million pounds has been handed a bankruptcy restriction order.

Scottish insolvency service, Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), obtained the 13-year order for Keith Cameron due to his "fraudulent breach of trust".

The 55-year-old, from Edinburgh, conned his childhood friend Jonathan Spiers out of £476,864 after making false claims that he needed investment for his company, Chase Telecom Ltd.

He was jailed for five years last year after being found guilty of the fraudulent scheme at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Following a hearing at the same court last week, sheriff Nigel Ross made a BRO against Cameron for a period of 13 years.

The AiB said on Wednesday that the order - which restricts the debtor’s ability to obtain credit and the ability to act as a director or manage a business - was the longest period imposed by a sheriff since they were introduced in 2008.

The organisation can only apply for BRO if the debtor has been dishonest or blameworthy either before or during the bankruptcy.

AiB chief executive Richard Dennis said: "By highlighting the behaviour of individuals such as Mr Cameron, we aim to warn debtors of the risks and potential consequences of their actions before and during their bankruptcy.

"We also seek to alert creditors and employers to the public register of insolvencies, where they can check if someone they wish to do business with or employ is subject to restrictions."

Cameron pretended that his company required money to fund a bid for a contract to supply telecom services to companies and obtaining £476,864 by fraud.

Between 2009 and 2012, he repeatedly pretended to Mr Speirs and his wife, Elizabeth, that his company was trading well and had been awarded the contract.

He also claimed other investors had put in sums of £1m and £1.3m and that the Speirs would receive £2m within two years.

In truth there were no other investors, the company was not trading and had not been awarded any contracts.

Cameron, of Russell Place, Edinburgh, also conned Mr Speirs into paying £1595 along with an administration fee of £269 to increase his shareholding in the company to 10%.

Mr Speirs, who died of cancer in 2012, put a total of £476,864 into Cameron’s personal bank account.

The trial heard that Cameron had led a "Walter Mitty life" during the long-running fraud scheme.