Fraudsters sentenced to 22 years in prison for £20m con on Norwich businessman and a German church

PUBLISHED: 16:42 22 October 2012 | UPDATED: 16:57 22 October 2012

Norwich businessman and Christian philanthropist Graham Dacre.

Norwich businessman and Christian philanthropist Graham Dacre.

Two international con artist are beginning sentences totalling 22 years this afternoon, after carrying out an elaborate fraud on one of Norfolk’s richest men.

George Katcharian and Cemal Esmene were each given 11-year sentences by judge Nicholas Coleman at Norwich Crown Court.

On Thursday a jury found Katcharian, 60, guilty of conspiring to defraud businessman Graham Dacre out of £12m, and a German church out of 10m euros.

Turkish Cypriot Esmene, was convicted of the fraud on the Christian philanthropist and laundering the money form the fraud on the German church.

The fraud took place in spring 2008, when Mr Dacre was persuaded into parting with a slice of his fortune, built up through a car dealership.

He believed the money was going to be invested in a high-yield trading platform, reserved for humanitarian projects.

But after the money was transferred to a Swiss bank account, it was never returned.

In May, Alan Hunt, 65, of Poole and Arthur Ford-Batey, 62, of Carlisle, were convicted of conspiracy to defraud Mr Dacre while Ian Yorkshire, 62, of Brighton, was found guilty of conspiracy to money launder.

•See tomorrow’s newspapers for a full interview with Mr Dacre in which he reveals how he fell for the fraud.

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