Man Cleared of Ostrich Scam Already in Jail for Fraud

Article excerpt

A man cleared of helping to run a multi-million pound ostrich breeding scam is serving five-and-a-half years for a similar con.

Kevin Jones (41) was jailed earlier this year for his part in a prosecution brought by the Department of Trade and Industry after 7,000 people lost more than pounds 3 million.

A judge at Leicester Crown Court yesterday lifted a restriction preventing reporting of the conviction.

On Wednesday, Jones, of Cantley, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was found not guilty, along with his brother Russell (42), also of Cantley, of conspiracy to defraud after a three-month trial.

They were accused of running the sales and marketing side of the Ostrich Farming Corporation, a Nottinghamshire-based scam which made pounds 22 million in just 15 months.

Two other men, Brian Ketchell (50) and Allan Walker (57), both of Newark, Nottinghamshire, were jailed yesterday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud.

They admitted roles in running the scam and were disqualified from acting as directors for ten years each.

The company convinced more than 2,700 people they could make profits of up to 2,000 per cent over ten years after buying an ostrich, whose offspring would then be sold on.

Among those who invested was former ITN newsreader Fiona Armstrong who put in more than pounds 20,000 and even agreed to front a video for the firm. …