Mother and three sons jailed for £2.8m fraud after conning friends

‘Greedy’ mother and three sons are jailed for £2.8m mortgage fraud when they conned friends and employee into investing in make-believe get-rich-quick schemes

  • Audrey Osbourne and sons Gary Moore, Clayton Moore and Ian Moore all jailed
  • Previously given suspended sentences – but appeal court ruled it ‘unduly lenient’

A ‘greedy’ mother and her three sons have been jailed for fleecing their own friends in a multi-million pound investment fraud.

Audrey Osbourne, 66, and sons Gary Moore, 44, Clayton Moore, 48, and Ian Moore, 45, persuaded people they knew to put their savings into a property development business to build executive homes.

But the houses were never built and nine investors lost everything they put in and some were left penniless. 

Osbourne and her three sons admitted fraud in 2021 and were given suspended sentences – but the Court of Appeal ruled it was ‘unduly lenient’ and the family of fraudsters were hauled back to court where this time they denied the offences.

They were found guilty after a nine-week trial and returned to Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court today to be sentenced.

Osbourne and her three sons arrived in a minibus and carried hold-alls into the dock after being previously told they were going to jail.

Osbourne, Gary Moore and Clayton Moore, were each jailed for three years for conspiracy to defraud. Ian Moore, who played a lesser part, was jailed for two years and four months. 

Audrey Osbourne and son Gary Moore arrive at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court, Wales

Ian and Clayton Moore have also been jailed for their parts in the family fraud 

Judge Richard Twomlow said the defendants, from Neath, South Wales, acted out of ‘greed and self-preservation’.

The four launched companies called Credence Finance and Dreamscape Homes which they used to fraudulently obtain mortgages.

The investors trusted the family and put in sums between £20,000 and £40,000 receiving share certificates in return. Some used money from their retirement funds believing the family firm was completely trustworthy.

But heavy drinker Gary Moore was ‘living in some sort of fantasy world’ and imposing it upon other people and some of his claims to investors were ‘surreal’, the court heard.

Victims included one man whose son was diagnosed with cancer, and who was persuaded to invest £30,000, with some of the payment coming from a critical life policy.

The investment fraud resulted in losses to investors of over £1.5million with the defendants benefitted by more than £2.8million.

Judge Twomlow said the offences were aggravated because it was a ‘sophisticated fraud over a sustained period with a large number of investors.’

He said: ‘The investors, some left penniless, gave Victim Personal Statements saying they were ruined by losing their savings to a family they trusted.

‘In my opinion these offences are so serious that only a prison can be justified.’

(L-R) Clayton Moore, Audrey Osbourne, Gary Moore and Ian Moore who have all been jailed

Crown Prosecution Service spokesman Gurminder Sanghera said after the case: ‘Between them, Audrey Osbourn and her sons committed multiple offences of fraud and money laundering through dishonesty, misleading mortgage providers and betraying the trust placed in them by friends, employees and customers. They did so for their own personal benefit.

One of the family’s victims was their office manager, Claire Garland, who was hoodwinked and ended up losing more than £82,000.

She said after the first hearing: ‘I worked for Credence for three years and they were like a family. I would never have agreed to work with them if I had known what they were doing.

‘In total I invested £82,000 which I didn’t get back. That is money which we could have spent raising our two children.’

The four defendants are facing a Proceeds of Crime hearing to reclaim some of the investors’ losses.

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