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