Jail for email scam shamed footballer

BOASTED OF MAKING FORTUNE: Ashley Timms.

BOASTED OF MAKING FORTUNE: Ashley Timms.

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A former Premiership trainee goalkeeper has been jailed over a £70,000 email fraud while playing as a semi-professional footballer in West Yorkshire.

Ashley Timms, 26, a former trainee with Manchester City, was jailed for blackmailing a fellow professional over a sex tape in 2008.

When released from jail, Timms teamed up with Nigerian criminals, Leeds Crown Court heard.

He played a pivotal role in the scam which involved organised fraud on banks and money laundering through pre-paid credit cards.

Timms used his cut from the scam to fund a gambling addiction and a luxury lifestyle he was no longer able to afford.

He was jailed for two years yesterday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to launder money.

Simon Kealey, prosecuting, told the court that 17 customers of different banks had a total of £31,000 taken from their accounts between October 2010 and April this year.

Timms, the son of high ranking police officers, made contact with people in Nigeria who sent out emails to bank customers, tricking them into providing their details, then bank transfers were made from their accounts.

The money was transferred to others in the conspiracy, who had allowed their accounts to be used to funnel money through. The funds were either cashed directly or laundered through gaming machines at Ladbrokes.

Police seized 12 pre-pay credit cards at Timms’ two-bedroom flat in Woodlands village, Portobello, Wakefield, in April and May this year, all of which had been used for a short period of time and then discarded

Timms, a goalkeeper for Wakefield FC, who play in the Evo-Stik League Northern Premier, told one friend he made £10,000 a week through the scam and offered him a ten per cent cut if he got involved.

He also got also got two of his Wakefield team mates involved in the scam

Matthew Torbitt, 20, agreed to put between £2,000 to £3,000 in his account. Mr Kealey said: “Timms had told him he had made money out of blackmailing three footballers.”

Torbitt, who was involved in the scam for four months, told police “tens of thousands” of pounds had been put through the bank cards.

Connor Glavin, 19, met Timms through playing football and told police his friend lived an extravagant lifestyle which he assumed was from blackmail.

Torbitt, 20, now of Newton Drive, Altringham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud. He was given a 12 months jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, and 180 hours unpaid work.

Glavin, 19, now of Royston, Barnsley, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money. Glavin is the son of former Wakefield FC manager and Barnsley player Ronnie Glavin. He was made the subject of a 12 month community order and given 120 hours unpaid work.

* Timms was jailed three years ago after demanding £15,000 from one of Manchester City’s star players after he used his mobile phone to film him having sex with a 19-year-old woman at his home.

He made a series of threats to publish the images if he was not paid the cash.

Brian Noble

Honours list: MBE for Bradford rugby legend Brian Noble