Fraud trial: Magistrate-designate ‘went to elderly woman’s home to get investment’
Marie Cotrel (84) was yesterday the first investor to take the stand in a trial of John Lewis, Magistrate-designate Ian Christmas, James Cameron and Russell Foot, who are accused of operating a fraudulent £1.5 million US property scheme.
The four men deny a total of 27 fraud-related charges against them. Mr Lewis and Mr Christmas are charged with fraudulently inducing Mrs Cotrel to invest US$50,000 through their company, De Lec Ltd, between 1 June 2004 and 1 September 2004, and £100,000 between 1 December 2004 and 1 January 2005.
Mrs Cotrel, a widowed former factory worker, told the court that she first met Mr Lewis about ten years ago when he invited her to lunch at Longueville Manor.