Businessman admits fraud linked to Gosport karate club
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A businessman has admitted defrauding a vulnerable disabled woman after forging her signature on a lease agreement linked to his karate club.
Martyn Styler, aged 38, put the woman at significant financial risk by forging her signature on an agreement for IESKA Sports Club in Gosport, for which he was the director and owner at the time.
This forgery resulted in the victim, who is deaf, being put at risk of losing £24,000 relating to the annual rent charge for the business.
The victim had been recorded as a guarantor for the club, and it has been proven that she had no knowledge of what this meant or what the responsibilities were.
Styler also forged the signature of a witness on the document, before submitting the paperwork on 18 June 2020, allowing him to continue running his business in order to obtain a financial gain.
Two days later, Styler admitted to the witness that he had forged her signature, along with that of the first victim, on the lease agreement for the Sports Club, claiming he did so to ‘save jobs’.
This lease was forensically compared by an expert who determined that the signatures on the agreement differed to the genuine signatures of the victims. They concluded there was strong evidence that neither victim had signed the lease.
Appearing at Portsmouth Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday 2 February), Styler, of Brewers Lane in Gosport, admitted two counts of fraud by false representation and was bailed to appear at the same court for sentencing on 11 March.