Frederick / Frances Harris

Frederick / Frances Harris, a male who identifies as a trans woman is a serial fraudster and was jailed at Lewes Crown Court for five years in 2013 after being convicted of fraudulently tricking vulnerable elderly people out of hundreds of thousands of pounds. Police said 100 people had lost at least £500,000 in a timeshare property scam involving Rest Assured Property Services which was masterminded by Harris.

Harris, 74, was already serving a suspended sentence for earlier frauds; the judge at that trial in 2012 had chosen to believe defence assurances that Harris was remorseful after committing an earlier string of deceptions where the defendant posed as both a male and female friend to obtain passports, loans and credit cards in their names. At sentencing, the judge stated he believed Harris had “finally grown up and taken responsibility for your wrong doing. I am satisfied that your remorse is genuine. This is literally your last chance.”

Harris and two accomplices promised at least 25 people financial rewards for investing their life savings and pensions in a company that didn’t exist. Harris also claimed £27,000 in illegal benefits by using dead sister Pamela’s passport to make fraudulent claims.

In February 2012, Harris had been sentenced to 15 months in prison after admitting three counts of deception dating back to 2003 – Harris had fled to Spain in 2006 in an attempt to avoid prison and was not extradited. When finally convicted, Harris’ sentence  had been suspended for two years after the defence team had suggested it would be “unsafe’ to send Harris to prison even though the offences were serious enough to cross the custody threshold and Harris had previously committed 37 offences of which 23 were for dishonesty.

At that trial, Harris’ defence stated that “Although Miss Harris had a breast augmentation in the late 90s not all surgery has taken place. At sentencing, the judge stated “Twenty-four-hour seclusion would be the only way she would be kept safe [in a male prison]…It is obvious to all that she would be targeted and victimised.”

Photo credit: Liz Finlayson and Sussex Police via The Argus

Media reports:

Daily Mail  archive

Daily Mail

Brighton Argus

Daily Mirror