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‘Wine trader’ conned victims out of £100k

Archway fraudster is jailed for four years after tricking his fiancée, business partner and chauffeur

21 July, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Lasse Hartmann

A FRAUDSTER who conned his fiancée, business partner and even his chauffeur out of thousands of pounds has been jailed.

Lasse Hartmann, originally from Denmark but living in Archway, tricked more than 20 people into thinking he was a multi-millionaire wine trader.

The 44-year-old went so far as hiring a chauffeur and a personal assistant to maintain his fake identity. Both “employees” were not paid and found themselves almost £30,000 out of pocket.

Hartmann conned a total of around £100,000 from his victims.

Using the alias “Lars Petraeus”, he started a relationship with an online food blogger from Ilford in 2014. During the course of 17 months, he won over the victim by showering her with gifts and in turn she introduced him to her food industry contacts. He went on to exploit them by failing to deliver ordered wine and champagne. Meanwhile, the food blogger loaned Hartmann thousands of pounds which he failed to repay. He hired a wedding planner for a bogus ceremony who he eventually scammed thousands out of by persuading them to invest in his fake wine business.

PC Alex Ramsay, from the Met’s Falcon Unit which deals with online fraud, said: “Hartmann is a professional conman and fraudster. He didn’t care about the people he was hurting, either finan­cially or emotionally. He exploited everyone around him, not least the woman who thought that 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 never had any intention of delivering his side of the bargain and simply used their money to fund his lavish lifestyle and gambling habit.”

Hartmann was convicted of 22 counts of fraud in April and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Wednesday. He is also wanted in Denmark for breaching the terms of his sentence.

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