Lewis Bloor left £3million diamond scam for The Only Way Is Essex, court hears

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Lewis Bloor left an alleged £3million diamond scam for "some poxy show", Southwark Crown Court heard on Wednesday 22 September.

Former The Only Way Is Essex star, 31, stands accused of playing a "key role" in Imperial Assets Solutions, one of the companies that was involved in the scam.

Bloor is alleged to have acted under the instruction of James Ward, who was not on trial. The court heard Bloor did not work for the second company, Henderson & Forbes (H&F) that was set up with Joseph Jordan, 29, as a director.

Around 200 people, most of which were elderly, were allegedly duped into buying coloured diamonds after being told lies about their value, the prosecutor has claimed.

The group are accused of selling the diamonds for a 600% mark up on the real price.

Bloor has denied the charge of conspiracy to defraud and stands trial alongside five other men.

He joined The Only Way Is Essex in 2013 before leaving in 2016.

In Wednesday's court hearing, David Durose QC said of Bloor: "By the second half of 2013, his television career was beginning to take off.

"That meant that he was less available to be involved in defrauding people from the late summer onwards.

"That caused some unhappiness with other people who worked in the business, particularly with James Ward."

The court heard that phone messages recovered from the former reality star's Apple MacBook computer showed he was "involved in dishonesty" and "involved in controlling sales" and viewed those working as "his boys".

And Mr Durose said James Ward had once messaged Bloor: "I've done so f**king much for u and u put some poxy show in front of this!"

Mr Durose added: "The two clearly had a falling out when Mr Bloor left".

The prosecutor added that the alleged fraudsters operated from more than one "floor" and Bloor called himself "Lewis from the Essex floor".

Bloor denies conspiracy to defraud between 7 May 2013 and 1 July 2014.

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The jury heard how alleged victims were cold-called and told lies about the value of the diamonds.

One alleged victim, Maureen Edwards, lost more than £27,000 after being called by Bloor's alias Thomas Hankin and other members of the group.

While Christine Truscott paid a total of £122,500 after being told she would make a 22-25% profit, it was heard.

The case at Southwark Crown Court continues.

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