A WOMAN who was convicted of fraud for failing to supply riding equipment she had offered for sale online has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Poppy Valentine Eastwood, of Pike Close, Bromley, was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on Tuesday (7 June).
The 24-year-old was given a six-month jail term, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to pay back all the money she stole, to her victims. A spokesman for police said he hoped those she had defrauded would “gain a measure of closure”.
Officers from Operation Falcon, the Metropolitan Police’s cyber crime unit, had found 46 victims who had tried to buy tack from Eastwood, during the course of their investigation.
She had operated on a number of different websites, between 20 January and 13 November 2014.
Eastwood would have discussions on possible sales with a number of potential buyers, during some of which she falsely claimed to be selling the tack as she was suffering from multiple sclerosis.
The victim would typically then transfer money for the item concerned, and then wait in vain for it to be delivered, “leaving them out of pocket”.
Eastwood would initially make excuses for the non-arrival of the items, police said, but eventually “ceased all contact” with her victims.
She pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud by false representation, at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on 21 March, and one charge of acquiring criminal property.
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Detective Constable Stephen Westlake of Operation Falcon said: “Eastwood has defrauded a large number of online buyers who believed that they were dealing with a genuine seller.
“She has also pretended to suffer from a life-changing illness to gain the trust of her victims.
“The effects of becoming a victim of crime run far deeper than the loss of cash.
“I hope that Eastwood’s victims gain a measure of closure following today’s sentence.”