TOWIEs Lewis Bloor upset diamond scam group after quitting for poxy show

TOWIEs Lewis Bloor upset diamond scam group after quitting for poxy show

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Former The Only Way Is Essex star Lewis Bloor upset other members of a group allegedly involved in a £3million diamond scam when he left for "some poxy show", a court heard.

Lewis, 31, joined the ITV programme in 2013 before leaving in 2016 and has since appeared on Celebrity Big Brother.

Ahead of joining TOWIE, Lewis is alleged to have posed as "Thomas Harkin" in a cold-calling investment fraud.

It's alleged the group conned more than 200 victims, many of whom were elderly, into buying coloured diamonds for around £750 with an eye-watering 600% mark up.

Earlier today, Southwark Crown Court heard that Lewis allegedly played a "key role" in the running of Imperial Assets Solutions (IAS), one of two firms involved in the alleged scam, acting under the instruction of James Ward, who is not on trial.

The court heard that Lewis didn't work for the second company, Henderson & Forbes (H&F) that was set up with Joseph Jordan, 29, as a director.

Speaking to the jury, David Durose QC said: "By the second half of 2013, his television career was beginning to take off.

"That meant that he was less available to be involved in defrauding people from the late summer onwards.

"That caused some unhappiness with other people who worked in the business, particularly with James Ward."

Durose went on to claim that James Ward told Lewis: "I've done so f****g much for u and u put some poxy show in front of this! [sic]"

"The two clearly had a falling out when Mr Bloor left," added Durose.

The jury heard that Lewis had messages on his Apple MacBook showing that he was "involved in dishonesty", that he was "involved in controlling sales" and viewed those working as "his boys".

Mr Durose said the alleged fraudsters operated from more than one "floor", with Bloor calling himself "Lewis from the Essex floor".

Lewis denies conspiracy to defraud between May 7, 2013, and July 1, 2014.

The court heard how both companies claimed to be specialist brokers for people wanting to buy or sell investment-grade stones, with brochures boasting of an "outstanding track record of meeting the needs of our clients".

Those hoping to invest were later called by salesmen who used fake names before selling the diamonds as an investment opportunity, the jury heard.

People were cold-called and sent glossy brochures with quotations from unconnected legitimate diamond firm De Beers and office addresses in a prestigious Canary Wharf skyscraper and Antwerp, the worldwide home of the diamond trade, the court heard.

Jurors were told retired social worker Maureen Edwards lost more than £27,000 after being called by Bloor’s alias Thomas Harkin, “Richard Hall”, the name used by Ward, and a broker calling himself “Stephen Green”.

Maria Way, a retired lecturer, bought three diamonds from IAS for £31,000, “wiping her out financially,” said Mr Durose.

Retired teacher Christine Truscott shelled out a total of £122,500 after being told she would make a 22-25% profit, the jury heard.

The trial continues.

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  • Towie
  • Courts
  • ITV
  • Big Brother

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