A COUPLE who ran an auctioneers plundered customers’ accounts to pay for luxury lifestyles, a jury heard yesterday.

Jonathan and Beverley King from Abingdon and brother-in-law Glenn Norcliffe, from Surrey, appeared in court accused of syphoning off up to a quarter of a million pounds from customers of Cameo Fine Art Auctioneers.

The money should have been paid to people who trusted the auctioneers to sell their valuables but was spent on expensive shopping trips and an exotic holiday, it was alleged.

Our top stories

The jury at Reading Crown Court heard how customers were sent cheques which either never arrived or bounced while Norcliffe transferred around £4,000 a month into his own account and £5,000 a month into King’s account, shared by his wife Beverley.

They stole between £100,000 and £250,000 between 2010 and April 2012, when the business folded, the prosecution alleged. Gordon Menzies, prosecuting, said: “It was not just that clients were finding difficulties and delays in getting their money back, they were not getting it back at all.

“They paid money into their bank accounts while the clients went with nothing but empty promises.”

Cameo Auctioneers, based in Midgham in Berkshire, closed in April 2012 following a barrage of complaints from customers.

Norcliffe, 64, of Marcuse Road, Caterham in Surrey, is charged with five counts of fraud by abusing his position and false representation.

Jonathan King, 66, of Mattock Way in Abingdon, faces eight charges: six of fraud and two of making false statements.

Beverley King, aged 62 years, and also of Mattock Way, faces two charges relating to cash paid into the joint bank account.

They deny all charges and the trial continues.

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.