A New Zealand accountant who conned his wealthy London
neighbours out of $2.2 million has been jailed for eight
Brian Copsey, 60, "charmed" fellow residents of an exclusive
mansion block into letting him handle a refurbishments fund,
the Daily Mail reported.
But instead of using the money to upgrade luxurious Bryanston
Court, where Wallis Simpson, the wife of Edward VIII once
lived, he spent the money on himself.
The newspaper reports that father-of-three Copsey spent
residents' savings on luxury holidays, boarding school fees
for one of his sons, as well as shopping sprees at upmarket
stores Harrods, Tiffany and Selfridges.
His scam was uncovered when other members of the flats'
management board tried to start the refurbishments and found
NZ$2.2m missing from the account.
None of the residents in the 56 flats - worth up to NZ$7.5m
each - has been repaid, the Mail says.
Last week at Southwark Crown Court, Copsey was jailed for
eight years after being found guilty of fraud by abuse of his
Judge John Price blasted him for what amounted to a "gross
breach of trust".
"The victims are ordinary people who lost about 30,000
(NZ$58,000) each," he said.
"Neighbour has turned against neighbour. You have done all of
that - you destroyed the feeling of good neighbourliness that
was in the flats."
The court heard that one victim was 97 years old while
another has suffered stress-related Bell's Palsy as a result
of the fraud.
The Mail says that New Zealand-born Copsey "lost his own
fortune in poor business dealings" before he started the
scam, which ran between March 2010 and September 2012.