Entire Town Used in Mail Forwarding Porn Business Scam

By Gary Cutlack on at

The people of Consett, in County Durham, have a dark secret, with as many as 400 local residents blindly agreeing to sign up as official company directors in return for small payments and the job of forwarding any letters received to the organising kingpin.

That kingpin was Simon Dowson, who used the network of locals to set up numerous official businesses, using masses of people as separate company directors to ensure that if one was shut down there'd be no knock-on effects to hit his other shell companies.

Dowson said his recruits were all well up for earning a bit of pocket money by signing things they didn't understand and sending on a few letters, although the Reuters investigation spoke to some locals who said they didn't have a clue as to what was actually being done in their names.

John Mawson was in on the scheme and told reporters that: "We were all on the dole and it was free money. You didn’t have to do anything. You know, everybody was looking for money at the time."

What many people involved didn't seem to have been told is that the businesses often weren't that savoury, and included porn distribution services, dating sites, diet pill networks and more. Some said they had no idea they were publicly listed on company director databases either, although Dowson claims everyone was was in on it. [Reuters via BBC]

Image credit: Ilivehere


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