This is the story of how delusions of grandeur, show horses and fake IBM affiliations will put a Dutch con man in jail.
George Carlo Schouten, a 36-year-old Dutchman living like a duke in the countryside of England, played the part of the wealthy son of an IBM executive. The only problem was he is not the son of an IBM exec. He was a former stable worker with a history of fraud and used his fibs about IBM connections to attain many, many pounds from unsuspecting investors and sponsors.
He even was able to get people to fund an equestrian team and had all the needed equipment emblazoned with IBM logos, according to the British newspaperThe Telegraph.
“The court heard how Schouten also duped another man, Dean Sayer, to separately invest his life savings of Â£30,000 in a “chip” technology company in Asia, which would return a three-fold return on his investment within 16 weeks. But the schemes were, in the words of Judge Mary Mowat, “an elaborate fantasy” and “complete fiction.” Thames Valley Police detectives believe the money was instead used to fund his “flamboyant lifestyle.” They fear he could have defrauded other victims.“
Schouten said he intends to repay all the stolen funds totaling around $50,000 in two cases, but is instead facing jail time. IBM had no idea of the con man.
At least they got free marketing out of it.