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  1. ITV Report

Couple sentenced over £2 million fraud

Basil and his wife Amanda Rankine amassed £1.8 million pounds from customers Photo: ITV Central

A couple have been sentenced for conning almost two million pounds from people, promising them they couldwrite off their debts with banks and credit card companies by finding loopholesin their loan agreements.

Basil and Amanda Rankine amassed £1.8million pounds from customers.

The couple, from Rugeley inStaffordshire, would buy a person's debt from them for £1 and then charge theman up front fee of £450 to find the loopholes or a technicality in their credit agreement.

The Rankines would then write to the banks and credit card companiesclaiming the loophole meant the debtors were no long liable to pay thedebt back.

But this was illegal. People can'tsell their debt to someone else without the agreement of the creditor.

The Rankines also told their customersthey were no longer liable for the debt and could not be chased by the creditors that because they had sold their debt to them for £1.

This was also illegal andsome customers were taken to court by the creditors who were owed money.

The couple were found guilty of ten counts of fraud at Birmingham Crown Court. They were arrested after numerous complaints to trading standards officers.

Basil Rankine said he intended toappeal the conviction.

He was jailed for four years. His wifewas given a 12 month suspended sentence.