Martyn Jagger, 27, and Daniel Healy, 24, were part of a team of young men who used cold-call tactics to persuade victims to buy company shares which turned out to be overpriced or worthless.
The two men have been found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud following a trial at Kingston Crown Court. They were found not guilty of other offences under the Financial Services and Management Act.
The investigation into the scam was conducted by the commercial fraud team at Surrey Police’s economic crime department and is one of the first prosecutions for fraud offences of bogus traders operating from “boiler rooms” in Spain.
An 18-month investigation by DC Graham Parker, began after 83-year-old Surrey resident David Mitchell came forward to report he had been a victim.
Mitchell was called by a man claiming to work for a firm called Waterman and Co. in January 2007 and pressed into buying a small number of shares in an American company.
Over the next 15 months Mitchell received numerous phone calls and was pressured into parting with nearly £200,000.
Jagger was arrested by Surrey Police officers at the scene who walked in, interrupting an interview. He later answered no comment to all questions asked. A number of items were seized including a laptop computer where officers found various stills and movie clips.
Healy was arrested at home in June 2009. He admitted in an interview that he had been recruited into Waterman and Co. and worked in Madrid having placed his CV on a job recruitment website.
Detective Sergeant Simon Lambert says: “This was a complex investigation during which numerous enquiries had to be made in the UK, Spain, Canada and the USA to uncover this group’s trail of deceit.
“Thanks to the hard work and tenacity of DC Parker, and officers from other forces, we have successfully brought the first prosecution for fraud in the country of bogus traders operating from “boiler rooms” in Spain.
“Jagger and Healy were among a group who targeted victims who were often old and vulnerable with the intention of persuading them to part with their cash knowing full well they would never see any return.
“Many of these people lost their entire savings and it has had a devastating effect on their lives. All the while those in the boiler room were living the high life in Spain as a result of this selfish enterprise.
“The verdicts today mean the party is now over for Jagger and Healy and shows Surrey Police will not tolerate this sort of crime and will do everything in our power to bring those responsible to justice.”
Jagger and Healy will be sentenced on January 8 at Woolwich Crown Court.
Surrey Police will also now seek a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize any available assets which Jagger and Healy may have.