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Jailed for 'a stark example of swindling'

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A FORMER company director lied to his friends to swindle them into handing over substantial parts of their life savings for investments when he was in fact taking the money for himself, the Royal Court heard.

In total, David Merrien, who was sentenced to four years in prison, defrauded £242,500 out of three people who called him a friend – £50,000 of which was used on online gambling sites.

The remaining funds were used to pay off other third parties, used for his own spending and transferred to his retirement annuity trust.

Judge Russell Finch said from what he had seen and read in the probation report, the court was doubtful that Merrien, 47, had shown appropriate remorse.

'This still boils down to a stark example of swindling.'

The court heard how Merrien had been a member of the company Venus Systems Ltd, known as VSL, a privately owned firm, formed in 2010 to develop and manufacture an oil-free chilling compressor unit.

Counts one to four of the five charges related to Merrien offering the sale of shares to three people outside the company, but keeping the money for himself.

Count five was in relation to a 'loan' he obtained from one of his victims for a third party, but instead he used the money to pay off another loan.

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