Conwoman who led lavish lifestyle before fleeing UK after pleading guilty to rental fraud is jailed

A glamorous conwoman who led a lavish lifestyle of holidays and shopping by ripping off victims through online property rental fraud is behind bars after returning to the UK.

Leah Farley, 31, spent two years dodging the authorities in Turkey after she failed to turn up to court for sentencing.

She was finally arrested when she handed herself into police at Birmingham airport when she flew back from Turkey on Thursday night. 

Farley was today jailed for three years and eight months at Wolverhampton Crown Court. The whereabouts of the money she swindled is still under investigation.

The conwoman led a lavish lifestyle of holidays, shopping and nights out

Leah Farley (pictured), 31, was the ringleader of a gang who carried out online property rental fraud. She was finally arrested on Thursday night after handing herself into police 

Farley was the ringleader of a gang who carried out multiple scams involving rental properties and sales of electronic goods online.

The thousands she made by swindling her victims went on nights out, clothes and lavish foreign holidays. 

Farley – who was jailed for 44 months in her absence in 2017 – was due to appear at Wolverhampton Crown Court today.

She was first arrested in September 2015 and eventually pleaded guilty to her crimes in January 2017 after a lengthy investigation.

This led to the arrests of two accomplices Martie Verdie, 29, and Emran Meah, 25.

Verdie, from Smethwick, was jailed for four years while Meah was fined £3,000 and given 240 hours of unpaid work. 

Farley recruited the pair to help her set up fake sales profiles on property rental websites, where she advertised properties for rent.

She also manipulated friends, family and even a man with learning difficulties into having money paid into their bank accounts, telling them it was assisting her in receiving benefits for her children.

All three were charged in November 2016 with conspiring to commit fraud by false representation between October 2013 and October 2015.

Farley skipped the country in November 2017 days before she was due to be sentenced for her part in the online scams.

She was jailed in her absence at Birmingham Crown Court and ordered to repay the full amount of her ill-gotten gains.

Farley, above, was first arrested in September 2015 and eventually pleaded guilty to her crimes in January 2017 after a lengthy investigation, before fleeing the UK

Farley, above, was first arrested in September 2015 and eventually pleaded guilty to her crimes in January 2017 after a lengthy investigation, before fleeing the UK

The court heard mobile phone buyers and house hunters were collectively duped out of £17,500.

Farley and her accomplices created fake Facebook accounts where they claimed to be selling iPhones and other mobiles at knockdown prices.

Dozens of people fell for their lies that the phones could be bought at bargain prices as they had contacts who snapped them up cheaply at police auctions.

Their first victim handed over £450 on October 4, 2013 followed by 33 others – some of who parted with more than £1,000 – who were tricked over the next 18 months.



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