Christian Skjaerstad is a neighbour and childhood friend of Alexander and Thomas Hunter.
He says the 21-year-old's were normal boys, and was shocked to hear about the scam.
More top news
A look ahead at the forecast for the Tyne Tees region.
A report from the Royal Society for Public Health ranks Middlesbrough 2nd in its list of the towns with the least healthy high streets.
The Rugby World Cup Trophy, the Webb Ellis Cup will be in the North East from July 29 - August 8th during a tour of the UK and Ireland.