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Challenger Fraud case - Ed Rimmer sentenced


Laurence Hogg
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Ed Rimmer was today sentenced to 2 and a half years in custody by Worcester Crown court.

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From West Mercia police:

 

Charles Edward Rimmer A businessman from Worcestershire was today jailed for two and half years after previously pleading guilty to 18 fraud-related charges concerning the operating of two well known boat hiring companies.

 

Charles Edward Rimmer (known as Ed Rimmer), aged 66 of Sheriffs Lench near Evesham, appeared at Worcester Crown Court before His Honour Judge Hooper QC.

 

He had previously admitted three counts of fraud by abuse of position of trust, eight counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception, three counts of false accounting and four counts of theft. He was convicted of fraud amounting to £536,000.

 

Another 17 charges brought against Mr Rimmer were left to lie on file.

 

Mr Rimmer was arrested in June 2010 and charged in September that year.

 

He owned and ran two boating businesses; he was a Partner at Challenger Syndicateships, which managed canal boat ownership syndicates, and a Director of Challenger Syndicateships Limited, which organised syndicates for powerboats and yachts.

 

Detective Constable Dianne Knight, an investigator for West Mercia Police's Economic Crime Unit, added: "I am satisfied with the sentence handed down today. This has been a long and complex investigation and I would like to pass on my thanks to the victims in this case who have been very patient and helpful."

 

One of Rimmer's victims was William Laker, he said: "Although my loss financially has not been as great as some other victims it was still relatively speaking a major sum of money to me and my family. I am now retired and at the time of the crime I was a couple of years away from retiring and the lost money was a considerable part of my retirement fund. Its loss therefore has caused me much anxiety and stress and a few sleepless nights.

 

"In my view this crime is more distasteful than say a casual burglary committed usually by persons unknown to you. I trusted Ed Rimmer to handle my affairs relating to our boat share and its sale in an honest and fair manner and the fact that he lied to me and stole the proceeds from the sale of my boat share really made me feel very angry at the time and left me feeling extremely disappointed and let down. It will have a lasting affect on my life because simply it is money I no longer have and when retired every pounds counts.

 

"Since this whole experience I feel very wary of entering into any other similar venture."

 

Challenger Syndicateships was set up by Mr Rimmer in 1989 and owned narrow boats across the UK and France. The syndicates worked in a similar way to time share properties, where a number of people shared the ownership of the boat and shared the time spent holidaying on the boat.

 

Each boat cost in the region of £80,000 - £90,000 with an average of 13 parties sharing each boat with a share costing a maximum of £12,000. Challenger Syndicateships would take a proportion of the amount paid by each party as well as an annual management fee to cover servicing and other expenses, such as insurance licences.

 

In 2003, Rimmer branched out into powerboats and yachts operating out of Spain, which managed boats costing around £500,000 - a share would on average cost £75,000.

 

Both companies operated until January 2008 when both businesses went into administration.

 

It was at this point that Rimmer's operation was revealed as illegal. He had been committing fraud in a number of ways, most notably:

 

 

 

In 2004, Challenger Syndicateships started buying older boats from syndicates and source a new one for them, using the older boats as hire boats for holidaymakers. The purchase capital was invested by sponsors (individuals or local businesses) who in return got around 10% interest on their investment capital. It was found that Mr Rimmer had offered sponsorship of the same boats to two and even three different parties, each time taking a lump sum of up to £90,000. When Challenger Syndicateships when into administration, up to three owners expected to have ‘their' boat returned to them.

Mr Rimmer would utilise the maintenance fees paid for one boat in order to pay debts due on other vessels. He would thereafter produce false accounts to disguise this activity giving the impression that the maintenance funds for each boat were healthy when in fact the contrary was often true.

 

 

Rimmer's barrister at court today put forward extensive mitigation including the fact that Rimmer was 66 years old, of previous good character and that he had been both a foster carer and had adopted children. He went on to present the Judge with 40 references of good character and mention was made of charity work, and recent deaths in his family. The court also heard that conditions in prison could be harsh for a man of his age.

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Laurence,

 

I shall probably get slapped down for being a bit controversial, but.....

 

You have published this about Ed Rimmer.

 

But when Gill Rimmer died earlier this year, you published a fairly glowing obituary, IIRC.

 

Gill Rimmer was both his wife, and a co-director of Challenger, was she not ?

 

I suspect you will not want to pass further comment, but I would be genuinely interested if it is your view that Ed Rimmer carried out this level of fraud without his wife and co-director being in any way aware of it ?

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Laurence,

 

I shall probably get slapped down for being a bit controversial, but.....

 

You have published this about Ed Rimmer.

 

But when Gill Rimmer died earlier this year, you published a fairly glowing obituary, IIRC.

 

Gill Rimmer was both his wife, and a co-director of Challenger, was she not ?

 

I suspect you will not want to pass further comment, but I would be genuinely interested if it is your view that Ed Rimmer carried out this level of fraud without his wife and co-director being in any way aware of it ?

 

You're not the only controversial one, Alan. When Laurence posted that piece about Gill, my fingers were itching to raise the same point.

 

I seem to remember reading at the time that the only reason Gill Rimmer was not charged with more or less the same offences was because she was seriously ill.

 

David

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Laurence,

 

I shall probably get slapped down for being a bit controversial, but.....

 

You have published this about Ed Rimmer.

 

But when Gill Rimmer died earlier this year, you published a fairly glowing obituary, IIRC.

 

Gill Rimmer was both his wife, and a co-director of Challenger, was she not ?

 

I suspect you will not want to pass further comment, but I would be genuinely interested if it is your view that Ed Rimmer carried out this level of fraud without his wife and co-director being in any way aware of it ?

 

Some things are better less said though...

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Laurence,

I shall probably get slapped down for being a bit controversial, but.....

You have published this about Ed Rimmer.

But when Gill Rimmer died earlier this year, you published a fairly glowing obituary, IIRC.

Gill Rimmer was both his wife, and a co-director of Challenger, was she not ?

I suspect you will not want to pass further comment, but I would be genuinely interested if it is your view that Ed Rimmer carried out this level of fraud without his wife and co-director being in any way aware of it ?

 

Alan, sometimes spouses/partners of serial criminals/fraudsters/conmen/adulterers/murderers etc have no idea that their other half is adrift.

Indeed some of them shop them when they find out.

However, she is gone(aware or blind), and the obit was genuine.

The real criminal has been named and shamed on here many a time , and for many years.

Can we not just enjoy the fact that for once, justice has been served on one whilst still breathing, and some several groups of canal lovers can have a little celebration over the event which, although not returning their money, ensures that he cannot continue to pull cons over others with their life savings or dreams.

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Laurence,

 

I shall probably get slapped down for being a bit controversial, but.....

 

You have published this about Ed Rimmer.

 

But when Gill Rimmer died earlier this year, you published a fairly glowing obituary, IIRC.

 

Gill Rimmer was both his wife, and a co-director of Challenger, was she not ?

 

I suspect you will not want to pass further comment, but I would be genuinely interested if it is your view that Ed Rimmer carried out this level of fraud without his wife and co-director being in any way aware of it ?

 

Gill and Ed have been friends of mine for years. Challenger was a customer of my business and I am one of the creditors. I was disgusted at what Ed did and the level atonished us all. However on a private side of life they were kind caring people. Given the level of the fraud I will not comment further on what I think, thats the job of the Law to sort out. I understand from David, Ed's son that the judge took into consideration the amount of letters of support presented to the court, the fact it was a first offence and his previous good nature both in business, waterways support and his fostering and adoption of children. The sentence could have been 5 years.

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Alan, sometimes spouses/partners of serial criminals/fraudsters/conmen/adulterers/murderers etc have no idea that their other half is adrift.

Indeed some of them shop them when they find out.

Indeed, I of course fully accept that.

 

But we are talking about a co-director of the same business, not just a spouse.

 

I'll let it lie now, as I would have done completely had I not seen several obituaries that saw her as a champion of the canals, (as quite possibly the husband might also once have been described, before he was found out).

 

I expected posting my question to be unpopular, but I'm not a fan of hypocrisy, and there seems to be the possibility to me of more than a bit of that here.

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Gill and Ed have been friends of mine for years. Challenger was a customer of my business and I am one of the creditors. I was disgusted at what Ed did and the level atonished us all. However on a private side of life they were kind caring people. Given the level of the fraud I will not comment further on what I think, thats the job of the Law to sort out. I understand from David, Ed's son that the judge took into consideration the amount of letters of support presented to the court, the fact it was a first offence and his previous good nature both in business, waterways support and his fostering and adoption of children. The sentence could have been 5 years.

Laurence,

 

Thank you for being prepared to respond.

 

In the circumstances I wouldn't really expect you to say more, but thank you for saying what you have.

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Gill and Ed have been friends of mine for years. Challenger was a customer of my business and I am one of the creditors. I was disgusted at what Ed did and the level atonished us all. However on a private side of life they were kind caring people. Given the level of the fraud I will not comment further on what I think, thats the job of the Law to sort out. I understand from David, Ed's son that the judge took into consideration the amount of letters of support presented to the court, the fact it was a first offence and his previous good nature both in business, waterways support and his fostering and adoption of children. The sentence could have been 5 years.

 

The police never made an official statement regarding Gill Rimmer. However, an officer connected with the case stated that she had been too ill to question and I reported this in an article in Narrowboatworld. It is possible that some have read more into this than intended.

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i'm sure he'll have a nice holiday in some CAT D open prison with colour TV and 3 meals a day whilst the rest of us graft to pay the taxes imposed on us!! :lol::lol:

 

You couldnt be more right! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/3300155/Welcome-to-Britiains-poshest-prison.html

Edited by Laurence Hogg
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Well, as he was convicted of 18 counts, 17 of them were not first offences.

 

There were rumours of 'multiple ownerships' when Black Prince collapsed under his leadership, but I'm not aware that anything ever came of them.

 

Tim

Edited by Timleech
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There were rumours of 'multiple ownerships' when Black Prince collapsed under his leadership, but I'm not aware that anything ever came of them.

 

Let's be frank, he's a criminal piece of shit scum. I don't care "how nice he was". Anyone can pretend to be nice.

 

Edited to reflect Tim's (subtle) edit :)

Edited by Gibbo
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