Tech fraudster got £50,000 of computer gear


By Cara Sulieman

A COMPUTER conman swindled £50,000 from Hewlett Packard by demanding replacements for non-existent gear.

Iain Winfield pretended he worked for five different imaginary companies who were owed hard-drives and other technical equipment under a warranty scheme.

Staff at the multi-national firm initially fell for the 28 year-old’s scheme and delivered the computing gear to him, which he then sold on.

But after seven months his plot was hacked when HP staff became suspicious and called in police.

Winfield admitted one charge of fraud today at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Court heard how at first no one at the company questioned his claims or asked for any proof of who he worked for.

Depute fiscal Ruth Ross-Davies said: “It arises from Mr Winfield contacting the company Hewlett Packard and making representations to them that he was a representative of various information technology companies.

“He claimed Hewlett Packard had provided electronic items to these companies which were faulty and he therefore sought a replacement of these items.

“It would appear to have been successful.

“He obtained replacement goods to the value of £50,000.

“I think eventually Hewlett Packard began to suspect something awry. Police investigated and very quickly Mr Winfield was identified.”

Winfield promised the court that he would pay the money back to the computer giants, having sold the goods on as soon as he got his hands on them.

Sheriff Crowe allowed Winfield, of Burntisland in Fife, to return to court next month for sentencing.