Radio Sandwell Local News

Conman fleeced 92 and 87-yr-old women out of £260,000

2013-01-15 22:53:35

Darren Aston

A crooked estate agent left two pensioners "destitute" after fleecing them out of £260,000 to prop up his failing business.

Heartless Darren Aston wormed his way into the affections of the 92-year-old woman and her 87-year-old friend by running errands, taking them on hospital visits and cooking them Sunday lunch.

But, after being awarded sole Power of Attorney over their assets, he drained their bank accounts to keep his Yardley-based Key Moves business afloat.

The scam was exposed when the 92-year-old told a social worker Aston may have cashed in £30,000 worth of premium bonds.

West Midlands Police's Economic Crime Unit probed Aston's financial dealings and unearthed a number of cheques and banker's drafts made out to Key Moves, totalling almost £160,000, plus a pattern of sizeable cash withdrawals.

Aston claimed much of the money was a private loan agreement he intended to pay back and said he also had permission to take out cash in "bits and bobs".

But investigators found the sum amounted to £100,000.

Aston, 42, of Union Road, Shirley, pleaded guilty to dishonestly making a false representation at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday. He will be sentenced next month.

After the hearing, detectives condemned the crook for targeting his elderly victims.

Investigating officer Det Con Vicky Henry said: "He left his elderly victims financially destitute with little or no balance left in their bank accounts.

"Aston slyly weaved his way into the couple's confidence, he played the role of a helping hand there to offer support - but all along he was targeting their money to help dig himself out of a financial hole.

"Through our detailed enquiries we established a strong case against Aston, showing when he had removed money without permission, yet he insisted he was innocent until the very last minute."

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