A man who bragged “fake it until you make it” stole money from his own mum so he could afford his lavish jet-setting lifestyle has been jailed.
Wayne Skinner, 22, went on trips to Dubai and Las Vegas, an Ed Sheeran concert and took women on glamorous dates to impress them with the cash he stole after he borrowed his mum’s bank card to shop for food.
His mum even pleaded with him for help and said she had no electricity or light as her thieving son sipped champagne and cocktails at the Shard in London.
In a text she sent to Skinner, from Blackburn in Lancashire, she said: “Wayne please help me. No food, no electricity, no light, cold.”
Skinner cruelly replied: “Leave me alone mum, I’m busy.”
The stealing son stole £36,000 in total from both of his parents, including an amount from his father’s savings.
It was only when he was reported to police by his former boss who claimed his aerospace firm had been defrauded of money that Skinner was caught.
Police found he had stolen from strangers, work colleagues, friends and girlfriends and had even photocopied a bank card belonging to an ex-girlfriend’s grandmother and used that to buy designer clothes, takeaways, train tickets to Newcastle and Ed Sheeran concert tickets.
During the police investigation, Skinner’s social media accounts were scoured and it was found he had posted, “Fake it until you make it” while showing off on Facebook and claiming he was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for charity.
Skinner’s mum later told police how she had trusted her son to look after her well-being and finances.
After Skinner was sentenced to jail for five years and seven months, Detective Sergeant Steve Munro, of Lancashire Police, said: “Skinner seems to be addicted to living a life way beyond his means and has constantly stolen and committed frauds against anyone who he comes into contact with.
“He has stolen from strangers, work colleagues, friends, girlfriends and even his family, all seemingly without any prejudice or remorse.
“All of this whilst not having a job nor any legitimate access to money other than that stolen from his various thefts and frauds.
“Skinner has manipulated everyone around him in order to make selfish gains for himself and since the investigation began he has continued to steal even more recklessly. The only thing which stopped him was his remand by the courts.”
Officers first began investigating Skinner in 2018 when he failed to pay for a meal in a restaurant but further concerns were raised by his former bosses at engineering company in Colne, Lancashire, when they got a phone call from a leasing company to say he had been driving the BMWs in defiance of a drink-driving ban.
It was later revealed Skinner had been creating fake invoices for items and having money paid into his personal bank account.
Skinner’s mother initially told police her son had stolen £15,000 from her bank account and was refusing her access to her funds but it emerged he also stole more than £20,000 from his own father.
He only reluctantly reported it to the police to report his son when he began getting letters from debt collectors.
While police were investigating the matter, Skinner continued to steal money from his mother’s account – taking £1,000 when she had given him her card to buy some food shopping.
Just a week before Skinner was due in court he tried to get an adjournment by faking an email to his solicitors purporting to be from the NHS telling him that he had to self-isolate for 10 days after testing positive for Covid-19.
At Burnley Crown Court, Skinner was jailed for five years and seven months after he admitted six counts of fraud by false representation, perverting the course of justice and theft by an employee.
Sentencing Skinner Judge Sara Dodd imposed an indefinite restraining order, preventing him from contacting his parents and told him: “Your ex-partner said you liked to show off and live an expensive lifestyle, that you look respectable and appear to be a pleasant young man.
“But you are not a person that meets the eye. She now describes you as lying, manipulative and controlling.”