Driving instructor jailed after using ‘manipulative lies’ including cancer cure con to swindle £250,000 from clients

A Bury driving instructor has been jailed after conning his clients out of nearly £250,000 – including pretending to buy drugs for a women battling cancer.

Dennis Whitfield, 66, managed to swindle £244,000 from eight clients through a variety of ‘manipulative’ stories, even going so far as to tell one victim he was using the money to buy her expensive medication to fight cancer.

Instead, the driving instructor of 37 years was buying her cheap vitamin pills and pocketing large amounts of cash himself. 

Whitfield,66, of Horbury Drive, Bury, pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud by false representation when he appeared before Bolton Crown Court earlier today.

He was sentenced to 40 months in prison. 

Detective Constable Phil Slater said: “Over many years, Whitfield fleeced numerous customers to the tune of nearly £250,000.

“As a driving instructor, he ingratiated his way into these people’s lives, in some cases he became their friends.

“He held a position of trust which he abused in the worst way possible, lying to and manipulating his clients.

“He got himself into a downward spiral of mounting debts and had to concoct a series of lies to dupe clients into giving him money so he could pay off other clients he had previously stolen from.

“In the simplest of terms, he was robbing Peter to pay Paul such was the financial mess he had got himself into.”

Whitfield got himself into debt and used a variety of different reasons to con people out of their money.

These included claiming he could get a good deal on brand new cars if his clients paid him substantial amounts of cash, which he then took for himself.

He also persuaded a family friend, who was also a client, to part with her life-savings by pretending he could invest her savings in a high-interest account.

He fabricated a cover story that the money was being invested in a pharmaceutical company and in return he would supply tablets to treat numerous health conditions, including a cancer drug for a member of the family battling the disease.

In fact, the pills were actually vitamin pills bought in boxes from a local supermarket and transferred into plain envelopes. 

He also claimed he owed thousands from unpaid tax bills and conned people into giving him loans.

Detective Constable Phil Slater added: “Through various cover stories, tales of woe about unpaid tax bills and promises of new cars, Whitfield managed to convince his clients he was every bit the honest, hard-working self-employed businessman and they had no reason to distrust him.”

“But the fact that he stooped as low as to manipulate a family friend into believing he could help them fight cancer, causing one victim to part with her life-savings, shows just how utterly desperate he was.”

Related Articles