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  1. ITV Report

Fraudster guilty of scamming cancer sufferer

A fraudster from Cirencester has today been found guilty of posing as a barrister to dupe unsuspecting victims out of money.

Michael Cremin, who is 41-years-old, worked as a paralegal but advertised himself as a barrister and was even listed on a chambers website.

He said that he had a law degree from the University of London although he had no legal qualifications.

Cremin said that he had a law degree from the University of London. Credit: ITV News

Cremin even threatened to sue one of his victims for defamation when she questioned his actions.

He preyed on one victim breast cancer sufferer Sandra Burch, 51, from Salisbury in Wiltshire, and scammed nearly £100,000 from her and her partner.

Ms Burch had sought legal advice after deciding to buy a plot of land to help a pal who was being evicted.

She turned to Cremin after researching his credentials online and being satisfied he was legitimate.

Rather than helping the vulnerable woman, Cremin pocketed the cash she believed she was investing, and bought a series of cars.

Sandra Burch was conned out of her life savings. Credit: ITV News

I haven't got, you know, happy memories now. I could have used that money and built happy memories, and now I haven't got happy memories. I've now got this charlatan that's robbed me of my funds and my chances in life, so it's horrendous.

– Sandra Burch

Cremin spent £29,000 on a Volkswagen Scirocco, and acquired at least 14 high-end cars on finance - with a total value of over £330,000.

The greedy fraudster was described by police as a "fantasist".

Cremin was convicted of six counts of fraud and one count of pretending to be a barrister after a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Cremin was found to have a number of aliases. Credit: ITV News

If someone puts themselves out as a solicitor, a barrister or even a police officer and they are impersonating that person, they actually commit a criminal offence.

But when you're advertised as a lawyer or an advocate there's no protection against people using that term. And it can create a false impression that you are something that you are not.

And in Michael Cremin's case when he created that false impression he never sought to correct that and allowed people to think he was something that he was most definitely not.

– Detective David Fryatt, Gloucestershire Police