Revealed: British mother facing jail in Spain over ‘food poisoning scam’ was business partners with convicted movie pirate and friends with ex-fugitive linked to antiques shop burglary
- Laura Holmes Cameron is facing jail over a massive holiday food poisoning scam
- MailOnline reveals she has links to surfthechannel.com pirate Anton Vickerman
A glamorous mother-of-three facing jail if convicted over a massive holiday food poisoning scam was business partners with a convicted fraudster who ran one of the world’s largest illegal movie websites, MailOnline can exclusively reveal.
Internet pirate Anton Vickerman, whose surfthechannel.com website was more popular than Facebook at its peak, helped to recruit staff for an event promotion firm run by Laura Holmes Cameron after leaving prison.
The DJ-turned freelance web designer was handed a four-year prison sentence in August 2012 after being found guilty at Newcastle Crown Court of conspiracy to defraud, and later admitted to contempt of court.
He changed his name to Ben Harper, relocated to Spain after his release and started advertising himself as the contact man for candidates interested in ‘social media sales and management’ work for Majorca-based company We Are Party SL.
Spanish Company Records House records show he parted ways with Laura and her brother Marc Cameron Grimstead shortly after her September 2017 arrest on suspicion of masterminding the false food poisoning racket, said to have cost hotel groups in Majorca millions of pounds.
This glamorous mother-of-three – Laura Holmes Cameron, who is facing jail if convicted over a massive holiday food poisoning scam – was business partners with a convicted fraudster who ran one of the world’s largest illegal movie websites, MailOnline can exclusively reveal
Pictured left: Anton Vickerman, who now goes as Ben Harper, and right: Lloyd Douglas Trainer
Last month the 43-year-old blonde was charged with fraud and membership of a criminal gang along with her brother, also described by an investigating judge as an alleged ringleader, and six other British nationals. The siblings have been warned they could face up to eight years in prison if convicted on both charges.
There is no suggestion ex-convict Vickerman aka Harper, is among the Brits arrested and subsequently charged, had any official involvement with the separate Majorca-based firm Laura and Marc allegedly used to get holidaymakers to make fake sickness claims.
But we can also reveal Marc is still listed as one of We Are Party SL’s decision-makers alongside a man called Lloyd Douglas Trainer who featured on a BBC Crimewatch appeal over a West Sussex burglary. Mr Trainer is not one of suspects charged over the alleged food poisoning scam.
Police said in June 2014 Trainer, then 24, was once wanted for the ‘high-value’ burglary at an antiques shop in Petworth in January 2012. He posted a photo of himself smiling in a bar two days after he was featured in the Crimewatch appeal.
A month later it was revealed he had become a rep for events firm Carnage in Magaluf, which organised the infamous bar crawl where a teenage British tourist was filming performing sex acts on 24 men for a cheap drink in the summer of 2014.
The bar where the video was filmed belonged at the time to Laura, charged in her maiden name over the alleged food poisoning scam rather than her married name of Joyce. She shut the bar, called Playhouse, soon after.
Trainer last posted on Facebook in his surname in April 2014 before appearing to set up a new social media account calling himself Lloyd Bright a month later after taking on the name of the woman he was in a relationship with. His latest posts appear to show he remains in Majorca and is running a building firm based there.
We Are Party SL is still listed on Spanish Companies House, although there is no record of any yearly financial accounts being posted since 2018.
Laura’s brother and Lloyd Trainer are named as its solidarity administrators, akin to directors with authority to represent the firm acting alone. Under Spanish company law they can make any type of decision, even if the rest of the partners disagree.
Laura was listed as a director until May 2018. Vickerman aka Ben Harper cut his ties to the company months earlier.
Mr Trainer admitted to MailOnline he had been business partners with Marc Cameron and knew Laura but was now out of the whole ‘Magaluf thing.’
He added: ‘Me and Marc were business partners in an events company. I’ve been out of the Magaluf game for a while now and that events stuff has been put to bed. I’m not involved anymore.
‘I never had anything to do with the fake food poisoning scam and this issue with Crimewatch and the burglary was years ago. This is all in the past as far as I’m concerned. I’m a legitimate businessman running a lawful company.’
Pictured: A pregnant Laura Holmes Cameron arrives at court in Majorca on September 7, 2017, at a previous hearing in relation to the alleged food poisoning scam
Laura Holmes Cameron, who allegedly acted as the criminal ringleader alongside her brother Marc Cameron Grimstead, has been accused of targeting all-inclusive hotels in Majorca with the bogus claims
Laura Holmes Cameron and husband Stuart Holmes’ bar Heroes in Puerto Portals, pictured, was raided by police in 2017 as part of the investigation against them
The Film-industry financed Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) ran a successful private prosecution against the man known as Anton Vickerman after his site www.surfthechannel.com was found to be carrying links to sites the organisation said infringed copyright on films.
Over two years the download site turned over £1 million with a profit of £250,000. It was valued at £400,000 when it was offered for sale in 2008.
Vickerman was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to defraud in June 2012 before being jailed in August. His then-wife Kelly, who had faced the same charges, was cleared by the jury.
Ari Alibhai, prosecuting, said the ‘tens of millions of pounds’ the film industry lost ‘should not just be seen as a loss to moguls in Hollywood but to hundreds of people in the industry.’
Vickerman told friends in September 2016 in a social media post: ‘Anton Benjamin Vickerman is now officially dead. As of yesterday I am now officially named Benjamin Harper. Happy days.’
He relocated to Majorca with a partner called Jessica Lynch – who he has described as an ‘amazing woman’ and bears a striking similarity to his wife Kelly Vickerman who he was said to have split from during his piracy court case.
They are now believed to be married with two children.
Janice Enticknap, who used to own the antiques shop targeted by burglars, said this week: ‘I can confirm the burglary took place at Petworth.
‘The police knew the suspects through DNA from blood left at the scene but were unable to make arrests because the two men in question had absconded.
‘The police contacted me some years later and asked if l wanted the incident kept on file. I replied that l did not. As far as I am concerned the matter is past and I am not interested in discussing it further.’
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: ‘Based on the information it was not proportionate to send Sussex Police representatives to Spain to locate Lloyd Trainer. The investigation has been filed and Trainer is not considered a wanted person by Sussex Police.’
The investigating judge who charged Laura after a lengthy criminal probe accused her in a six-page written ruling of ‘leading a profit-motivated organised gang’ with her brother through a Spanish company called Elite Project Marketing SL.
Palma-based Maria Perez Ruiz also accused the pair of hiring accomplices paid on commission to get British tourists on the holiday island to put in false food poisoning claims.
Detectives were said at the time of their arrests to have estimated the losses of the hotel groups whose fraud claims sparked a police crackdown dubbed Operation Claims at around £9.5 million.
The final figure hoteliers and a state prosecutor will demand as compensation has not yet been finalised.
The investigating judge made it clear in his charge ruling the payouts obtained in the UK from the alleged fraud in 2016 and 2017 ‘notably exceeded’ 200,000 Euros (£176,000).
Prosecutors are expected to be invited to submit their indictments by the end of this month.
Highly-respected Majorca based lawyer Jaime Campaner is representing the island’s hotel federation, which launched its own legal action running separately to the state prosecutor’s as part of the same criminal case.
Laura’s lawyer is experienced Gabriel Llado, who said after his client appeared in court in May 2018 in a closed hearing that she had admitted to passing on the names and phone numbers of holidaymakers for payment but insisted it was part of a pure market research exercise.
He also insisted neither the alleged gang leaders or the so-called ‘claims farmers’ used to gather data of tourists Laura passed on to others in the UK, encouraged the holidaymakers to get chemist’s receipts so they could make fake food poisoning claims as police and hoteliers’ representatives have claimed.
Laura Holmes Cameron (right) and her mother Deborah Cameron, who was previously held in the probe but no further action was taken
Laura Holmes Cameron pictured with her husband Stuart Holmes
The other six Brits charged are Ryan Bridge; Simon Robert Flanagan; Tegan Jewel Sumerlee; Susan Amanda Lyle; Nicola Marie Sanderson; and Peter Carl Murphy.
Bridge, previously referred to as the sole director of UK holiday claims, has been described as allegedly ‘one of the people tasked in England with processing the false claims.’
The other five Brits have been described as people paid on commission ‘hired by the two siblings to go to different hotels and get tourists’ personal details including details that would enable the consumption of meals in hotels to be linked to supposed food poisoning.’
The case against four other Brits who had been identified as part of the investigation has been provisionally archived – but only because their whereabouts is unknown and they have not been formally questioned.
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