Cheer­leader’s ‘shop­ping time’ paid for by fraud on el­derly

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Daily Tele­graph Re­porter

A CHEER­LEADER who texted her crim­i­nal boyfriend to con­grat­u­late him on his scheme to de­fraud pen­sion­ers boasted she would spend the money on “shop­ping time”.

Re­becca Batch­e­lor, 21, sent What­sapp mes­sages to Anis Bens­ghaier, 25, urg­ing him to sup­port her lux­ury life­style through his crime and she used his money to put a down pay­ment on a Range Rover Sport.

Batch­e­lor, from Rayleigh, Es­sex, had de­nied mak­ing money from fraud, but af­ter the ex­changes were read out to Chelms­ford Crown Court she ad­mit­ted one count of con­vert­ing crim­i­nal prop­erty. Batch­e­lor runs the cheer­lead­ing squad at Bil­ler­icay Town FC. The court heard how Ben-sghaier cold-called pen­sion­ers and pres­sured them into in­vest­ing in pre­cious met­als, di­a­monds, wine and car­bon cred­its.

When she was ar­rested, Batch­e­lor told po­lice she was aware of the fraud but claimed she had told her boyfriend to stop. But her crim­i­nal­ity was laid bare in the mes­sages be­tween her and Ben-sghaier, who she has now split up with. In one ex­change read to the court, she said: “Is Dot pay­ing to­day?” Anis replied “Yeah buddy,” with Batch­e­lor re­ply­ing: “She bet­ter be the b----.”

In an­other mes­sage Batch­e­lor was told a pen­sioner had been de­frauded of £5,000. She replied: “Woooooo. Shop­ping time. Omg ha­ha­haa I am jok­ing.”

She also helped draft a let­ter to be sent to a vic­tim, urg­ing them to in­vest in car­bon cred­its and the court heard she used a stolen credit card on shop­ping trips.

Ben-sghaier pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ted cold-call­ing pen­sion­ers and tak­ing more than £200,000 from nine vic­tims with his brother Amin, 27. His 22-yearold brother Bi­lal, from Har­low, Es­sex , and Cathreen Welch, 23, from Waltham Abbey, Es­sex, an­other of Anis’s ex-lovers, are also on trial over the scam.

The jury is ex­pected to re­tire on the re­main­ing de­fen­dants to­day. They both deny one count of con­vert­ing crim­i­nal prop­erty. The case con­tin­ues.

Re­becca Batch­e­lor urged her boyfriend to sup­port her lux­ury life­style by de­fraud­ing el­derly vic­tims

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