Two fraudsters face jail for a multimillion-pound pension scam which saw almost 250 people duped out of their life savings. Susan Dalton, 66, and Alan Barratt, 62, face years in prison for conning 245 victims out of a total of £13.7 million between 2012 and 2014, Southwark Crown Court heard on Friday.
However, the scam’s “mastermind” David Austin killed himself in 2019 after being invited for a police interview under caution, the court was told. The average amount each person lost was £55,000, but some lost many times that amount, as well as their future security.
The court heard how Dalton and Barratt, who were based in Spain, enticed savers with the promise of unrealistic returns, cash bonuses, and even John Lewis vouchers before getting them to transfer their pensions from legitimate schemes to fraudulent ones.
A judge was told how the cash bonuses, which victims were led to believe were part of a commission payment from the new schemes, were actually taken from their savings. The pair were said to have passed the lion’s share of the money to Austin, who used it for his own personal benefit, to fund his businesses, pay others involved in the operation and enrich himself and family members.
During the scam, Dalton was a…