Lyne Barlow Wiki
Lyne Barlow Bigraphy
About Lyne Barlow
Lyne Barlow is a 39-year-old woman from Stanley, County Durham, UK. She ran a bogus travel agency and ended up scamming people out of £2.6 million. In addition, she left more than 1,400 clients without money when she was unable to book trips between 2019 and 2020. The Durham Crown Court heard her entire case and ended up sentencing her to 9 years in jail. She also has two children and a sick mother.
About the incident
Durham Crown Court has sentenced Lyne Barlow, a fraudulent travel agent, to nine years in jail for defrauding more than 1,400 tourists in a £2.6m scam. The 39-year-old former resident of Stanley, County Durham, left her clients penniless when she was unable to book her trips between 2019 and 2020.
Barlow admitted to stealing £500,000 from her mother, committing ten counts of fraud and laundering £1.6 million. The court also heard how she lied to her clients about having terminal cancer while she was running the scam.
Starting with her family and friends, Barlow lured her victims with the promise of discounted deals through her independent travel agency. She emotionally blackmailed those to whom she owed money by telling them that she was terminally ill with cancer. Despite the unrealistic prices, Barlow’s offerings quickly gained popularity through rave reviews on social media.
However, many of her clients discovered that her vacation had not been paid for or was only partially booked. Some were forced to pay more for their hotels and flights home while abroad, while others turned up at airports to find their flights had been canceled for non-payment.
When Barlow’s Ponzi scheme began to unravel, she informed some of her clients that she was falling behind on reserves due to her stage four cancer treatment. It is suspected that she cut her hair to give the appearance that she was undergoing chemotherapy.
Barlow’s unscrupulous behavior left many tourists disappointed and penniless. Her sentence serves as a warning to those who engage in similar fraudulent activities.
Courtroom scenes and commentary.
Barlow’s deceitful scheme began when she took advantage of her family and friends. She drained her savings to set up an independent travel agency where she lured victims with the promise of unbeatable deals. As she gradually exposed herself, she misled some clients by claiming that her delay in booking her was because she was receiving stage four cancer treatment. In jailing her, Judge Jo Kidd praised Barlow’s “extraordinary talent for dishonesty”. In addition, the judge accused her of mercilessly abusing the trust of those close to her, describing her as a “totally insensitive individual”. The judge further revealed that Barlow had used the excuse of her cancer to emotionally blackmail her lenders. To add to this, she financed her lavish lifestyle with her mother’s stolen savings.
In court, the judge condemned Barlow’s callous behavior and how she used the deception of Atol insurance and Abta membership to further mislead her clients. The judge found that while Barlow was enjoying exotic vacations, designer items and a Range Rover, her mother was struggling to pay her bills and sheriffs were visiting. The judge concluded that Barlow was a woman of high intelligence but with an “extraordinary talent for dishonesty”.
The public outcry began in September 2020, when reports about the scam began circulating on social media. Police were inundated with calls from angry victims. Thus, they launched an investigation that became one of the largest fraud cases in Durham Police history.
Barlow was led from the dock in tears, as her attorney described her as a “broken, beaten, penniless woman.” An Abta spokesman said cases like Barlow’s are “extremely rare”. Additionally, they encouraged people to check out travel agent memberships on their website. “Stay tuned,” they added, “holidays can be a target for scammers.”