Former Norfolk police officer Ben Staff sentenced today for £1m fraud

Ben Staff outside King's Lynn Court. Photo: Picture: Ian Burt

Ben Staff outside King's Lynn Court. Photo: Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A police officer-turned-conman found guilty of a £1 million fraud is due to be sentenced on Tuesday afternoon.

Ben Staff, 35, a former Norfolk PC will be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court after being convicted of a string of fraud offences.

Staff traded off the reputation of the police to gain the trust of victims and then used money intended for business accounts to fund his own lavish lifestyle, Norfolk Police said.

His frauds first came to light following an investigation by this newspaper in 2013. He was convicted of six charges at King's Lynn Crown Court in March 2016 and a further two charges at Norwich Crown Court in December 2016.

Payments relating to his building and development companies went into Staff's own personal accounts - he bought an Audi A6 and a BMW, paid for holidays and renovations to his home, and funded his wedding.

His wife, Catriona Staff, 33, was charged in both trials but cleared on all counts.

She was a serving Norfolk Police officer during the case and faced internal disciplinary procedures after being suspended from duty in 2014 pending the outcome of legal proceedings.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Nick Dean said: 'These are very serious offences that Ben Staff has been convicted of.

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'The fact that, as a former officer, he traded on the reputation of the police is absolutely unforgivable.

'I want to take this opportunity to underline to the public that the constabulary will pursue criminality wherever it exists and will robustly investigate allegations of criminal conduct against an individual whatever their background.

'This includes investigating thoroughly those who have previously worked for the constabulary, where the evidence demands it, as this case clearly demonstrates.'

Staff, of Lucas Court, Norwich, had resigned from Norfolk Police in 2008.

An investigation into his conduct was launched in 2012 and he was arrested in 2014.

He was convicted of two counts of fraud, two counts of false accounting, one count of converting criminal property and one count of fraudulent trading in relation to businesses including MR Trades Ltd, SES East Anglia and Morpheus Homes at King's Lynn Crown Court.

In the second trial at Norwich Crown Court, Staff was found guilty of fraud by false representation and converting criminal property.

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