Cruel fraudsters worm their way into the lives of unsuspecting people, stealing the savings of family and friends, bosses and companies, and people in their care.
The damage of such scams runs deep, pushing victims into debt and fear.
Many such people have sat in the dock this year to face with the consequences of their cruel crimes.
From high-earning directors milking their companies dry, to supposed carers draining the accounts of vulnerable elders, here are some of the worst fraudsters with ties to Merseyside to have appeared in court this year.
Lying salesman who ‘destroyed’ man’s life
A “devious” dad of three swindled more than £284,000 from four people in a series of scams that left one man in tears.
He forced one of his victims, a solicitor, into debt by draining his savings from £200,000 to £12,000, all the while promising a return on the investment.
Among the web of lies, McNeece even told the victim that going to the police about the scam would get McNeece shot.
McNeece agreed to repay £215,150 at £2,000 per month, but only repaid £12,000 before the arrangement collapsed.
Jailing the fraudster for four years in January 2021, Judge David Aubrey, QC said: “He is a broken man and you broke him.”