Friday 10 July 2020

Court agrees to publish photo of master conman to stop others falling for his charms

Statue of justice.


Appeal court judges in The Hague have agreed to the publication of a photograph of a man found guilty of conning several women and their families out of large sums of money and property after a romance.

The man, who is in his late 40s, has posed as a rich pilot, a holiday house landlord and a cancer patient. In total he managed to con his victims – 16 are mentioned in the court documents – out of tens of thousands of euros, as well as a car and expensive watch.

The man has been sentenced to six years in jail but judges also agreed that his photograph should be published because ‘the suspect makes wide use of a great number of false names’, the according to the ruling.

James Becker, James Snel, James Gabriels, James Mendes and Maxim Becker-Swaenevelt are among the names appearing in the court documents, although according to reports of the original trial, his real name is Francis Z.

The publication, however, will only happen once all legal appeal options have been exhausted.

The man has served an earlier jail sentence for fraud but continued to con people after his release, the court said. In total, he has been ordered to repay over €100,000 to his victims.

In the Netherlands, publishing recognisable photographs of both suspects and convicted criminals is rare, although the police are increasingly using the threat of publication as a tool to get people they wish to interview to come forward.

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