Three sisters splash stolen cash on fags, booze and Lottery

Three con artist sisters ripped off Liverpool businesses for thousands of pounds then splashed the cash on fags, booze and hundreds of lottery tickets.

The brazen crooks were clearly seen on CCTV targeting luxury shops and restaurants in Liverpool One and the Met Quarter areas to buy goods using payment details from stolen receipts.

They first bought designer clothing, power tools, high performance car parts, motorcycles and motorcycle accessories.

But when Merseyside went into lockdown, they moved on to target off licences and petrol stations where they would purchase hundreds of pounds worth of Lottery tickets, alcohol and cigarettes.

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Footage shows all three sisters at a hairdressers in Liverpool city centre

Police believe businesses lost £62,000 in over 150 fraudulent transactions between October 2019 and May 2020.

Detectives traced over £16,000 to the personal bank accounts of four Manchester-based women during this period, three of them were sisters.

They also targeted shops and businesses in Cheshire and Manchester.

The court was told how the fraudsters stole till merchant receipts from restaurants and hotels to obtain the card details.

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While the women kept some of the items they had purchased, on other occasions they would return to the stores and request a refund.

The fraudster would then put their own payment card into the machine so the refund would credit their own personal bank account.

On May 13 police raided several homes across Greater Manchester and arrested the four women for a series of fraud offences.

Items seized by police included motorcycle clothing, a motor vehicle, electric scooters, furniture and a quantity of cash.

All three sisters at a hairdressers in Liverpool city centre

All four women pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and three were jailed at Chester Crown Court today for a total of four-and-a-half years.

Who were the women?

Sarah Burdon, 40, of Evesham Road, Manchester was jailed for 18 weeks.

Sarah Burdon, 40, of Evesham Road, Manchester was jailed for 18 weeks

Lynsey Burdon, 36, of Brynorme Road, Manchester was jailed for two years, two months.

Lynsey Burdon, 36, of Brynorme Road, Manchester was jailed for two years, two months

Emiline Burdon, 29, of Riverdale Road, Manchester was jailed for 22 months for the conspiracy and an additional six months for disqualified driving.

She was also disqualified from driving for a further 12 months.

Emiline Burdon, 29, of Riverdale Road, Manchester was jailed for 22 months for the consiracy and an additonal six months for disuqalifed driving. She was also disqualified from driving for a further 12 months

Sonia Malhi, 37, of Hobson Crescent, Audenshaw, will be sentenced at a later date.

Detective Sergeant Paul Kay, from Merseyside Police’s Economic Crime Team, said: "This type of fraud is not victimless as the majority of these fraudulent transactions were charged-back to the store making them the loser and in some cases the loss to the store was greater than their weekly turnover.

"Also a number of staff members who dealt with the fraudsters were given written warning for conducting the transactions and in once case particular a member of staff was suspended and nearly sacked for not identifying the fraudulent transactions.

Police recovered luxury items from watches to electric scooters

"We are committed to finding the people who are responsible for committing fraud and bringing them to justice and I would urge anyone who spots any suspicious activity which they believe to fraudulent to contact us or Action Fraud so that action can be taken to bring these people to justice."

Detective Chief Inspector Clare Coleman, Crime Manager at Cheshire Police, said: "Today’s sentencing is the culmination of a lengthy and complex investigation spanning many force borders. This has focused on hundreds of fraud offences committed across the North West.

Police recovered luxury items from watches to electric scooters

“Each one was carefully planned and fraudulent bank details were used to purchase high-value items from stores in Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Derbyshire.

“The women committed the offences in order to fund their lavish lifestyles, buying expensive clothing, perfumes and designer sunglasses.

“It is clear that they had no thought as to the impact of their actions on both the businesses they were targeting and the legitimate customers whose credit card details they decided to steal.

“Thankfully, as a result of the joint investigation by officers from Cheshire and Merseyside, three of the women are now behind bars."

Anyone with information is asked to DM @MerPolCC, @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111 or @actionfrauduk

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