A GANG of fraudsters who scammed a million pounds and blew it on flash cars and a lavish lifestyle have been jailed.

Ross Faulkes, 26, from Preston Park Avenue, Brighton, Mark Thompson, 59, from Trevor Close, Worthing, and David Robinson, 35, from Bournemouth, were convicted of fraud by false representation and conspiracy to defraud in June 2015 following an investigation by the City of London Police Fraud Squad.

They created a "highly technical" scam which which involved fraudulently buying internet airtime to sell to overseas clients.

Faulkes, who was sentenced to three years, spent much of his share on Porsches and a lavish lifestyle of expensive hotels and restaurants.

Detectives uncovered how the trio purchased the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) airtime from British Telecom (BT), Wavecrest and The Exclusive Group on credit and sold it abroad using a hijacked company identity known as CADCORP.

The VoIP was then used by their clients to make internet-based calls from the UK to Zimbabwe and countries in the Middle East, with scammers using their own engineer to make the source of the calls untraceable.

The bill for the internet calling credit was never settled.

The case was reported by BT in January 2012 and an investigation was subsequently launched by the City of London Police, with assistance from Sussex Police.

Thompson, Robinson and Faulkes were arrested in December 2012 at their respective homes by detectives.

After his arrest Robinson fled toThailand and was sentenced in his absence.

Detective Sergeant Nick Kemsley, who led the investigation for the City of London Police, said: “Thompson, Robinson and Faulkes believed they had created a highly technical and untraceable scam that would enable them to spend a million pounds of another company’s money without ever paying it back.

“Unfortunately for these three men, the City of London Police specialises in investigating complex cases of fraud and has an excellent record of delivering successful prosecutions. Thompson, Robinson and Faulkner can now be added to the ever lengthening list of fraudsters who convinced themselves that they were too smart to be caught and have now ended up with a jail-term.”

Kevin Brown, British Telecom VP Threat Intelligence and GES Transformation, saying:

“This is an example of a complicated fraud committed against BT by an organised gang of criminals. BT will always rigorously pursue those who attempt to defraud BT and will assist and support the police in order to do so. It will take all possible steps to recover losses resulting from criminal acts committed against it, using relevant legislation to seek compensation from those involved.”