Nov 4 2011 by Lisa Boyle, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
INTERNET shoppers were duped out of thousands of pounds when a Mauchline conman falsely advertised iphones for sale.
Jamie Ross posted listings for the state-of-the-art mobile phones through sales websites Gumtree and Ebay.
He also claimed to have music festival tickets and music speakers for sale.
But he never had the items and trusting buyers were left out of pocket and without the goodies they thought they’d purchased.
Scammer Ross, 21, even convinced a seller that he had paid £275 into her Paypal account and duped her into posting him an expensive necklace.
Police were able to track Ross down as the money was paid into his own Royal Bank of Scotland bank account registered at his parents address.
However, he’d managed to rake in more than £2000 by the time his scheme was brought to a halt.
The cash was never recovered.
At Ayr Sheriff Court this week, Ross pleaded guilty to 10 charges of fraud.
The dud sales all took place between August 10 and November 6 last year.
Ross, who suffers from Aspergers syndrome and ADHD, claimed that he did not fully understand that people were losing money as a result of his lies.
Depute fiscal Hayley Robertson told Sheriff Desmond Leslie: “All charges follow the same pattern. Items were listed for sale on either Gumtree or Ebay. Potential bidders then contacted the accused to agree a price. A price was agreed and people paid but never received the items.”
Defence lawyer Mandy Stewart said: “He now accepts responsibility for his actions. But he did have trouble grasping that people suffered loss although he now accepts that and is genuinely appalled by his actions.
“He now lives on his own in a flat in Paisley and has made some progress since moving there.”
Sheriff Leslie ordered Ross to carry out 200 hours of community service and serve 18 months of probation.
The Sheriff said: “I’m not entirely sure whether you understand the serious nature of what you’ve done – it completely undermines this whole system of trading. Do you accept that people lost money?”
Ross responded: “I do now.”
The Sheriff went on: “Given how many times this happened it’d be perfectly within my power to send you to jail to teach you a lesson. I’ve given considerable consideration to that and you’re not out of the woods yet.”
Sheriff Leslie ordered Ross to return to court in three months for a probation review. And he was advised to have at least £150 ready to hand over to his victims.