A 37-year-old man from Cheshire has been sentenced to 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to defrauding businesses with fake Data Protection Act registrations.
Between December 2002 and April 2004, Christopher Williams of Hoole deceived businesses into believing that he was an agent working on behalf of the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), and stole a total of £400,000 from them.
He sent fake forms to companies requiring them to register under the Data Protection Act and demanding they pay him a fee of between £95 and £135.
Williams, along with one other man, ran a number of bogus agencies that directly targeted businesses.
The prosecution follows a joint investigation by Merseyside Police, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and Tameside Trading Standards.
Simon Entwisle, chief operating officer at the ICO, said, "The ICO will continue to work with other authorities to bring people to justice who try to extort money from businesses in this way."
Earlier this year, Francis Boyd was sentenced to two and a half years' imprisonment for his involvement in the bogus agencies. Both defendants could be forced to pay back the cash through the Proceeds of Crime Act.
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