A financial adviser has been jailed for eight years after being found guilty of conning pensioners out of £1.3m.
Liverpool-based Michael Mawdsley had targeted the recently retired, claiming commission on policies set up in his clients' names, but with false dates of birth and foreign addresses.
Policies that were legitimate were frequently blighted by non-disclosure. One client, who died from cancer in 2003, did not receive a penny of life insurance because Mawdsley had not included his diabetes on the forms.
Mawdsley attracted clients by setting up retirement-planning seminars, and befriended many, playing golf with them and even running errands for some.
Once hooked, Mawdsley demanded additional payments, claiming they were needed for further investment, but in reality, the cheques and bank transfers - up to £600 per month - were direct payments to him.
Prosecutor Graham Wood QC compared Mawdsley with Ralph Gorse, the conman played by Nigel Havers in 1980s TV series 'The Charmer'.
Mawdsley admitted 22 counts of dishonesty under the Theft Act in relation to 29 victims, and one count of fraudulent trading under the Companies Act.
Judge Roger Dutton denounced a 'disgusting and despicable' fraud, adding: "Seldom can a criminal court have heard such details of the rank, disgraceful dishonesty of somebody in your position of trust with so many elderly retired victims who you systematically milked of their life saving."
About 40 elderly victims were present at Chester Crown Court to see Mawdsley sentenced.
The victims are unlikely to see any of their money again as Mawdsley has been declared bankrupt.
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