A man who sold £60,000 worth of fake items to sports fans to fund his online gambling addiction has been jailed.
Police said Jamie Keeble, 45, unemployed, of Marlborough Close in Horsham, conned at least 14 victims into paying for fake sports events, packages and memorabilia.
Packages included tickets to the England v Wales Six Nations rugby game, Arsenal v Barcelona Champions League football match and the Wimbledon final as well as signed England cricket shirts.
Keeble, who used aliases such as James Edward Maxwell, James Edward Keeble and James Munroe, also promised victims extras such as front row seats and a meet-and-greet with players.
Police said many of his ‘customers’ were contacted by word of mouth, however he also targeted members of online clubs or auctions with an interest in sporting events.
The 45-year-old voluntarily attended Crawley Police Station in September 2016 where he denied all offences - which were believed to have been carried out between March 2015 and September 2016.
At Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday (April 3) he was found guilty of 14 counts of fraud and sentenced to five years in prison.
He also received a 40-month custodial term for similar offences in 2012 which was taken into consideration during sentencing, police added.
Detective Constable Andy Robinson said: “Keeble conducted a targeted campaign against a number of victims over a prolonged period of time. He offered a variety of high-value items for sale, some of which are not actually available to purchase.
“He denied everything throughout the investigation, claiming the tickets and memorabilia were genuine but that he was let down by his suppliers. This was a total fabrication of the truth.
“He also showed no remorse at any stage, and it is unfortunate that none of the money he claimed has ever been recovered. Instead, he used it to fund his online gambling addiction.
“I hope Keeble will learn from his mistakes and resist the temptation to re-offend in the future. His actions have clearly had huge financial implications on his victims.
“I would urge anyone who is offered any tickets or memorabilia for sale through an unrecognised source to be wary. Check with the venue or the supplier to confirm the seller is registered and that the goods offered are genuine. And if in doubt, don’t buy them. If something appears too good to be true, it probably is.”