Two men jailed over £4m Lincolnshire lottery syndicate scam

Christopher Toynton and Ross Gibson Credit: Lincolnshire Police

Two men have been jailed for their role in a 'get rich quick' scheme based in Lincolnshire which defrauded hundreds of victims out of millions.

Christopher Toyton of Horseshoe Road in Spalding was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Ross Gibson, aged 27, of Eve Lane in Dudley, was jailed for four years and five months.

It follows an investigation by the Economic Crime Unit (ECU) after complaints of suspected fraud connected to the Lottery Syndicate Club Ltd in Spalding.

Almost four million pounds was invested in the illegal scheme between 2017 and 2019, much of which was lost, pocketed or misused by the pair.

The trial at Lincoln Crown court heard how the Ponzi scheme - which works by paying existing or earlier investors with funds collected from new investors - had several hundred members from across the country including Lincolnshire.

Victims were led to believe that the scheme was legitimate and that their investments were safe.

Toynton, who acted as the company director, assured victims that the scheme was low risk and that they could withdraw funds at any time.

Gibson was the scheme's trader despite his lack of professional experience or qualifications in investment or market trading. He falsely claimed that trading was a success despite no profits being made.

The pair used the money conned from their victims to fund lavish lifestyles.

Toynton spent £134,000 on luxury cars and holidays, while Gibson spent £400,000 on holidays and designer watches.

The scheme eventually collapsed in the spring of 2019. However, Toynton continued to perpetuate the scheme’s success until his and Gibson’s eventual arrest in July 2019.

Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) confiscation proceedings will take place after sentencing.

PC Phil Gidlow, who led the investigation for ECU, said: “This verdict is a culmination of years of hard work by our dedicated investigators in the Economic Crime Unit and only made possible due to the support of the victims.

“Fraud is a despicable crime, undermining our basic trust in others. As a result of this scam, the victims not only suffered huge financial losses, shattering their current financial position and plans for the future, but also caused some to have mental health and relationship problems.

“I hope this case reflects that we are determined to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators and that the victims feel some justice has been achieved.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...