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Serial land fraudster from Orpington 'could have other victims unaware of crime'

PUBLISHED: 10:15 20 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:24 20 February 2017

Ben Willison

Ben Willison

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Police stated Ben Willison's firm, Grosvenor Land Brokerage, was 'professional' in its operation

A serial land fraudster from Orpington may have more victims who do not know they have been duped, police believe.

Ben Willison, 36, was found guilty of fraud after conning people into investing some £30,000 into buying land - including a plot in Wellingborough, Northants, Scotland Yard said.

Detectives believe more victims of his firm, Grosvenor Land Brokerage, may have yet to come forward or even realise they are victims of a crime.

Metropolitan Police detective constable Michael Esangbedo, said: “Willison thought he had escaped justice due to the passage of time.

“Police are grateful to the three victims, enabling us to deal with this type of fraud which has become much too prevalent.

“He was professional in his operation and sounded genuine. It might be the case that someone does not yet realise that they have been defrauded.”

Willison, of south-east London, took £9,900 from his first victim, a man in his 50s, in February 2007, offering an 80% return on investment within 12 months, police said.

But when the man asked for his money back - per the terms of their deal - the following August, he was told the cash was tied up in a five-year investment.

Four years later he tried again and found that Grosvenor Land Brokerage had been dissolved and his money was gone.

It was not until January last year that Willison was arrested as he arrived at Heathrow from Thailand. Police discovered a further two victims who had been scammed out of a total of £19,500.

Willison admitted fraud charges at Inner London Crown Court on Friday and will be sentenced on March 10, Scotland Yard said on Saturday.

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