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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 October, 2003, 16:51 GMT
'Millionaire' major guilty of fraud
Charles Ingram
Charles Ingram denied all the charges
Disgraced former army Major Charles Ingram has been convicted of insurance fraud.

Ingram, 40, of Easterton, Wiltshire, was found guilty of two charges of deception relating to two house contents insurance policies.

A jury at Bournemouth Crown Court took more than seven hours to reach a verdict.

Ingram, who found fame after cheating his way to a 1m prize on the television quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, mouthed words of hope to himself as five not guilty verdicts were announced.

But he was convicted on the final two charges of obtaining by deception and making a claim on a falsely obtained policy from Direct Line insurance.

He had claimed 30,000 after a burglary at his home in August 2001 - but had failed to tell the insurance company about earlier claims he had made.

In debt

Ingram's defence barrister, Selva Ramasamy, told the court in mitigation Ingram had already suffered enough and was a man currently on a range of medications for anxiety and depression.

He said due to the Millionaire case, Ingram was now some 400,000 in debt, had no job and had already paid a high price.

Mr Ramasamy also asked for psychiatric reports on Ingram to be prepared before the sentencing next month.

After the hearing, a spokesman for Wiltshire Police said all the offences occurred before the recording of the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? show in which Ingram appeared.

"The press interest in this case had no relevance to the investigation," he said.

'Clear message'

Judge Samuel Wiggs adjourned the case for sentencing until 21 November and asked for pre-sentence reports to be prepared.

Ingram was released on conditional bail until then.

Mark Jones, head of counter fraud services at Direct Line, said: "Direct Line is delighted by the court's decision to find Mr Ingram guilty.

"It sends a clear message that insurers are not a soft touch when it comes to the investigation of suspicious claims and subsequent prosecution where appropriate."

Fraud costs insurers 20m a week
28 Oct 03  |  Wiltshire
The man behind the scams
28 Oct 03  |  Wiltshire
Major breaks down in court
23 Oct 03  |  Wiltshire
Major 'did not declare claims'
21 Oct 03  |  Wiltshire

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