Jail for Archway fraudster who conned victims out of £100k

Serial-fraudster Lasse Hartmann, 44, has been sentenced to four years in prison following an elabora

Serial-fraudster Lasse Hartmann, 44, has been sentenced to four years in prison following an elaborate £100,000 scam in which he convinced friends and business partners he was an international businessman dealing in fine wine and champagne. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

A serial-fraudster will spend four years behind bars following a scam in which he posed as a jet-setting businessman dealing in fine wine and champagne.

Lasse Hartmann, of Cardinals Way, Archway, tricked investors into paying thousands for what they thought were lucrative wine packages but in reality he was using the money to fund his own champagne lifestyle.

The full extent of his fraud was uncovered after a Met investigation identified over 20 victims.

The 44-year-old’s elaborate con started in early 2014 when he began an online relationship with Adanma Wokoh, from Ilford, posing as a multi-millionaire wine dealer named Lars Petraeus.

Hartmann, a Danish national, squeezed thousands of pounds out of the influential food blogger who, believing they would get married, put him in touch with contacts in her industry who were also fleeced by him.

One online meat-trader who entered into a partnership with him lost £20,000 after paying him for wine, fridges and IT equipment that never materialised, on top of further losses of £17,000.

Hartmann then used the meat company’s reputation to steal £11,000 from other victims and even hired a personal assistant and a chauffeur to keep up the charade – they were left out of pocket to the tune of £25,000 in unpaid wages.

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A wedding planner invested £5,500 into his bogus wine ventures and turned down £25,000 worth of other work to plan Hartmann’s fake wedding to the food blogger.

Among other victims was a chef who invested £3,500 in the belief the money would be used to buy wine from abroad.

In total, Hartmann scammed more than £104,000 out of his victims and only paid back £18,000.

PC Alex Ramsay said: “Hartmann didn’t care about the people he was hurting, either financially or emotionally. He exploited everyone around him, not least the woman who thought she was going to marry him.

“He used her status as a respected food blogger to give him credibility and from there managed to convince a number of businesses to go into partnership with him. He simply used their money to fund his lavish lifestyle and gambling habit.

“He is now facing the prospect of time in prison, which reflects the misery he has caused.”

Hartmann was convicted of 22 counts of fraud in April and sentenced to four years imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Wednesday.