An estate agent boss who left an elderly couple “destitute” after duping them out of £260,000, has been jailed for five years.
Darren Aston had befriended the 92-year-old woman and her 87-year-old male friend back in 2006, running errands for them, taking them to hospital visits and cooking Sunday lunch.
But Birmingham Crown Court heard Aston, from Union Road, Shirley, had simply been playing the role of Good Samaritan to get his hands on the couple’s life savings.
And after being awarded sole Power of Attorney over their assets due to his victims’ deteriorating health, he drained their bank accounts for his own personal use.
The married dad-of-two, who ran Key Moves in Yardley, admitted two counts of fraud and last week, was jailed for five years.
Judge Melbourne Inman said Aston’s actions had caused “extreme harm” to his victims, who could no longer afford the care they needed to live out their days in their own home.
His scam was exposed when his 92-year-old victim told a social worker she feared he may have cashed in £30,000 worth of premium bonds as the couple were no longer receiving regular payments.
Aston, 42, told police he had permission to take out cash in “bits and bobs”, which investigators revealed actually amounted to £100,000.
Det Con Vicky Henry, who led the investigation, said: “Aston slyly weaved his way into the couple’s confidence, he played the role of a helping hand there to offer support, but all along he was targeting their money to help dig himself out of a financial hole.
“He left his elderly victims financially barren with little or no balance left in their bank accounts.
“This is a strong sentence handed down to Aston and should act as a deterrent to anyone who feels preying on society’s most vulnerable is an easy, low-risk crime.”
She added that police were aiming to recover as much of the money as possible through the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Harpreet Sandhu, defending, said his client no longer owned the estate agent business and was now financially destitute.