Five men who used Monopoly money to trick jewellers in a scam worth £7million have been sentenced.
The fake notes from the popular board game was hidden between real bank notes, or the word “Monopoly” was covered by paper bands used to hold bundles of cash together.
In the largest scam, jeweller John Calleija, whose shop sits in the Royal Arcade on Old Bond Street, central London, lost £6.1 million.
Bristol crown court judge, Julian Lambert, said: “The fraud operated required you men to establish confidence in your victims so it was thought you could be trusted. You operated as a crime group, using reconnaissance and meticulous planning. It required considerable ingenuity and effort to establish dishonest ends.”
Similar scams were executed in Bristol and Leeds. Jeweller Jack Cohen was defrauded of £420,000 when the gang members met him at the Marriott hotel where he was handed bundles of fake notes amongst genuine Euros, not noticing until later.
Gianni Accamo, 44, was jailed for six years; Dusica Nikolic, 45, received two and a half years; Dragoslav Djordjevic, 44, was jailed for seven years and four months; Juliano Nikolic, 26, received four years and four months; and Bruno Nikolic, 27, was jailed for 22 months.