Forest Gate ticket tout jailed again after setting up bogus company six weeks after release from prison
- Credit: MPS
A ticket tout who started a scam within six weeks of being let out of prison is back behind bars after setting up another bogus company to dupe fans of West Ham and other Premier League football clubs.
David Spanton and his accomplice Jane Clapton were arrested at their address in Forest Gate after detectives discovered they were running the scam to fleece tourists and overseas businessmen.
The 48-year-old admitted four charges of fraud by false representation when he appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court with Clapton on Friday.
He also pleaded guilty to nine counts of breaching a Serious Crime Prevention Order banning him as a company director or selling tickets without informing the Met’s Lifetime Offender Management Unit.
Spanton had been sentenced in 2016 to nine months for previously breaching his ban.
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Now he set up a company within six weeks of his release called ‘Click for Tickets’ with his partner as director to get round his ban, using an address in Buckhurst Hill which was his first address when he was let out of prison.
Two service providers had been used for payment processing which helped provide evidence that Spanton has been running the set-up with the pseudonym ‘David Brooks’.
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“Spanton is a ticket tout whose offending goes back to the 1998 World Cup,” Det Sergeant Rob Tickle said after Friday’s sentencing.
“He admitted he was a fraudster who set out to deceive Companies House, Premier League clubs and service providers and lied to get what he wanted.
“He showed complete disregard for court orders by setting up ‘Click for Tickets’ within three months of leaving prison, a bogus ticket agency acting as a front through his partner Jane Clapton.”
But the couple were caught at an early stage of the scam. Most of his ticket sales were stopped in time or victims were reimbursed by their credit card providers.
Items were seized from both the Forest Gate and Buckhurst Hill addresses including mobile phones, laptops, membership cards for Premier League clubs, ticket invoices, telephone bills and cash.
Spanton ‘harvested’ memberships at Premier League clubs, including West Ham to buy-up tickets using ‘drop’ addresses in central London such as mailboxes and ‘virtual’ offices. The tickets were sold up to 20 times the face value. Not all those who paid received them or managed to get into the grounds, the court heard.
Spanton was jailed for three years with a new disqualification order banning him being involved in the ticketing business and extending his company director ban for a further 15 years.
Clapton, 44, who pleaded guilty to encouraging or assisting an offender, was slapped with 150 hours of unpaid community work.