Swindling estate agent faces just two years in jail

THE Hampstead estate agent who conned almost £500,000 out of a mentally ill client could be behind bars for as little as two years

Ed Thomas

THE Hampstead estate agent who conned almost £500,000 out of a mentally ill client could be behind bars for as little as two years.

Malcolm Green was sentenced to five years for swindling schizophrenic Marshall Davis.

But he will serve half the sentence on prison licence.

And, as Green has already been in jail for five months on remand, he could be back on the streets as early as 2010.

Gem Shevket, his co-defendant and employee at Greenfields estate agents on Heath Street, was given the same sentence.

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After the case, Mr Davis, from Dunstan Road, Child's Hill, said: "I'm not scared of them or anything. But I would rather they spend the whole five years of their sentence in prison.

"They took a lot from me. I am still owed £500,000 and the police are working on retrieving that.

"But so much of the money was frittered away by them. And the rest is hidden in bank accounts around the world."

Sentencing at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday, Judge Andrew Collender said: "Between April 1 2004 and April 4 2005, in broad terms you, Malcolm Green and Gem Shevket, by fraud took from a rich, vulnerable and mentally ill middle-aged man Marshall Davis a considerable amount of money and property.

"It is quite plain to me from what I have heard that this was a planned and relatively sophisticated fraud carried out over a substantial period of time."

Shevket's sister Zehra was also present.

A jury found the pair guilty last month of conspiracy to defraud, two counts of theft and one of obtaining money by deception.

Green, who lived at Gainsborough House, was also convicted of one count of obtaining money by deception and one of attempting to obtain money by deception. But he was cleared of a further deception count.

Shevket, from Newsholme Drive, Grange Park, was also found guilty of possessing criminal property and obtaining a money transfer by deception.

The fraud involved persuading Mr Davis to give them £200,000 on the promise of a £500billion return on a property investment as well as taking shares, gold coins, a rare stamp and jewellery from him.

Judge Collender said Shevket initiated the scam but that, once his boss got involved, Green became the "driving force".

"It is clear to me that both of you have for some time now been living in a world of fantasy," he said.

"The circumstances in the spring of 2004 were that both of you had become used to a cosmopolitan and fashionable - if not lavish, lifestyle.

"But you found yourselves up against it financially.

"It was a cruel quirk of fate that Mr Davis crossed your paths when he did."

Early in the proceedings, the jury was rocked by the revelation that the police's chief investigator DC Steven Poynton had been having an affair with Shevket's sister Zehra.

He was taken off the case when superiors found out and the police's directorate of professional standards is investigating. DC Poynton is still working as a police officer.

A police spokeswoman said: "It will take at least another month before the investigation into DC Poynton is complete.

"We have to wait until all the criminal proceedings of the Green and Shevket case are over before making any decision."