Jailed conman who targeted disabled people ‘defrauded hundreds’


Hundreds of disabled people are believed to have fallen victim to a “manipulative” fraudster who posed as a lawyer to steal money they were owed from discrimination cases, and then launched legal actions against them if they complained.

Karl Lindon was jailed for three years after being found guilty by a jury at Guildford Crown Court this week of five counts of theft from disabled people, worth more than £50,000 in total.

Surrey police said Lindon, 35, from Louvaine Road, Wandsworth, south-west London, had scammed “numerous” people out of money.

In each of the five cases, the victims turned to Lindon to help them secure money they had been awarded through the civil courts, even though he had no legal qualifications.

Lindon secured the money in each of the five cases but despite the victims continually confronting him, he denied ever having received the funds.

Detective constable Sheena Service, who led the case against Lindon for Surrey police, said: “This was a terrible crime where the offender took advantage of a number of vulnerable people and manipulated their trust to con them out of huge sums of money – which clearly had a devastating impact on their lives.”

But Disability News Service (DNS) can reveal that campaigners who have fought for seven years to bring Lindon to justice believe he has stolen money from hundreds of disabled people across the country, through his company Disability Claims Management (DCM), and other online organisations he set up.

And they are furious that regulators and other police forces repeatedly failed to act, despite being told that Lindon was a dangerous and manipulative conman.

Lindon, a former Ministry of Defence press officer, was previously jailed for three years in 2007 and placed on the sex offenders register for life, after admitting distributing child pornography to an online network of paedophiles.

But this did not stop him setting up DCM after his release from prison, probably in 2009, and targeting disabled people who had suffered discrimination in provision of services and as employees.

DNS has spoken to two of Lindon’s victims who gave evidence during his lengthy trial, and who have described the devastating impact of his crimes.

One of them was disabled activist Adam Lotun, who originally instructed Lindon to take on a case relating to disability discrimination by British Gas in 2009.

Lindon’s incompetence led to the case being struck out. But when Lotun complained, Lindon threatened him with defamation – a pattern repeated with many of his victims – and then sued him in the county court in 2011 for thousands of pounds of fees he claimed he was owed.

The courts eventually threw out Lindon’s claims – after he repeatedly lodged appeals against court orders and failed to turn up for hearings – because he was not a qualified lawyer, and he agreed to pay Lotun’s costs in February 2012.

Lotun has been warning other disabled people about Lindon, offering them support, and trying to persuade the police to take action, since 2010. 

He believes that hundreds of people were defrauded by Lindon, and he himself has been in contact with about 100 of them, while new victims are still coming forward.

He believes that cuts to legal aid force disabled people and others into the hands of fraudsters like Lindon “because they have nowhere else to turn”.

Lotun said in a Facebook post that Lindon often manipulated police officers to stop investigating his own actions and “turned them against the people who called them for help”.

And he described how Lindon would “use the legal system to take out false actions against DCM clients and then use bailiffs to remove goods to the value of thousands of pounds, leaving old aged pensioners and disabled people fighting ever more costly battles to try and get justice”.

Lotun said he believed that the five charges heard at Guildford Crown Court were only “the tip of a very large iceberg of victims”.

On one of his websites, Lindon claimed his company had processed more than £2.6 million in claims.

Lotun told DNS: “He’s a narcissist, he preyed on people’s vulnerability, on the fact that they were desperate and were seeking guidance and help from someone who would believe them.

“This was the only way they could get any form of justice. But Lindon just didn’t care.”

He said police were told about Lindon many times but failed to act, until Surrey police took on the case.

Chris Fry, from equality law experts Unity Law, who has been acting for Lotun in an effort to retrieve the money he is owed, said Lindon now owes Lotun and Unity Law nearly £40,000.

He said a whole string of public bodies, including police forces, failed to act to stop Lindon.

He said: “It has been a mystery to me why nobody has done anything about it.

“What I was struck with was the number of people who said they had spoken to the police and they had refused to do anything.

“The excuse given to people was that it was a civil matter when it was really theft and fraud.”

The concerns were first exposed in the media four years ago by disabled journalist Sunil Peck, who at the time was writing for the online publication Disability Now.

His article helped alert other victims to the campaigning efforts of Lotun and Fry.

Angela*, another of Lindon’s victims who gave evidence in the trial, contacted Lindon in the spring of 2010 because she was trying to take a case of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination against her former employer.

Lindon told her he had a 99 per cent success rate with such cases, but she now realises that he lied to her repeatedly.

He persuaded her to lower the amount of compensation she was seeking by more than £100,000 and then lied about the settlement he secured from her former employer.

It took her months to find out the truth – that she had been awarded £12,000 rather than the £27,500 Lindon had claimed, and that he had spent most of her settlement on his own business.

He also claimed Angela owed him £8,000 to pay for a barrister who had acted for her in the case, but she says this barrister never existed, and the jury believed her.

She said she had tried reporting Lindon’s crimes to another police force, but that they “just shoved it aside and said it was a civil matter”, before she eventually contacted Surrey police when she heard they had arrested him over another offence.

After she contacted the police, Lindon sent her a letter threatening her with defamation and slander.

She told DNS: “He was just constantly lying. The man is such a fraudster.”

Angela said there were many other victims who had not yet been heard.

She has also been told that some of his victims have taken their own lives as a result of the damage Lindon has caused, because of his bullying.

She said: “A lot of [his victims]are intimidated but morally something had to be done, the way he has destroyed a lot of people.

“He is targeting the most vulnerable. Even during his evidence he said he was going to sue us and take us to court.”

She said Lindon had dominated her life for the last six years and had ruined her career.

Previously comfortably off, she has now been left tens of thousands of pounds in debt.

Disabled activist Mark White has been supporting disabled people who have been ripped off by Lindon for the last seven years.

He said the fraudster would take on discrimination cases, hoping the other side – often a former employer – would settle the claim.

If they failed to settle, Lindon would wait until the evening before the court hearing and then claim that his own client had breached their contract with him and that he could no longer represent them and was going to sue them for his own costs.

Clients from across the country were told that they would have to get to a county court in London – where Lindon appears to have filed all of his cases – by 9am the next morning.

White said the defendants would often file an immediate application for the case to be thrown out, and another for Lindon’s disabled client to pay their costs, which the court would usually agree because there was no-one in court to oppose the applications.

White said: “I have seen people suicidal as a result of his actions. I have had to call ambulances for people as a result of what he has done.”

He has personally supported more than 20 people who have had problems with DCM, and another 30 or so people harmed by Lindon’s other companies, and many of them suffered serious financial damage.

He said a whole string of regulatory bodies had been negligent by failing to act, despite repeated complaints being made about Lindon’s actions.

White said: “Lindon created scheme after scheme after scheme after scheme. Every watchdog who should have sniffed out what was going on, they all turned away.”

He said he believed the Lindon case demonstrated the “contempt and institutional attitudes around disability. They believed it was just a bunch of uppity crips squabbling.”

White said he could only feel a slight sense of satisfaction that Lindon had now been jailed because of the “level of discrimination, institutional abuse, negligence and the level of indifference that so many professionals have shown” over the last seven years.

*Not her real name

  • User Ratings (6 Votes)
  • AdamLotunWDA

    The sentencing was the final stretch of a very long road traveled by a great many vulnerable people who were conned by this manipulative and narcissistic excuse of a human being and his cronies. DCM deliberately targeted and preyed upon vulnerable people, who could find no other access to justice within today’s Legal System. The five charges heard at Guildford Crown Court were only the tip of a very large iceberg of victims that Lindon and his cronies preyed upon. There was no level to which he would not stoop to steal the compensation from very ordinary and very hard up people, who only wanted justice and redress from the wrongs and torts they faced at the hands of business & people who discriminated against them or denied them goods and services that anyone within today’s Society has the right to enjoy. Linden presented himself as a disabled super hero, and revelled in regaling everyone as to how much money he made for the unsuspecting clients of DCM and also in deceiving authorities and statutory organisations through lies or basically claiming that he was the victim who was being harassed and victimised by the people he was himself preying upon. Despite a number of people reporting his actions to the Law Society, The Ministry Of Justice, The Institute Of Legal Executive, various Police Forces, including a number of cases raised with the Metropolitan Police, The Charities Commission, Trading Standards, Local Authorities, to name but a few, no-one took any notice of the please raised, and in some cases the Police threatened Lindon’s victims with harassment charges , as he manipulated Police Officers to stop investigations into his dealings and turned them against the people who called them for help. Lindon would even use the Legal System to take out false actions against DCM Clients and then use Baliffs to remove goods to the value of thousands of pounds, leaving old aged pensioners and disabled people fighting ever more costly battles to try and get justice. Despite having some charges and bailiff actions reversed back onto Lindon & DCM and Barrister Advice lodged in Court that he was not qualified or legally permitted to carry out any business linked to claims management or passing himself and DCM off as a legal firm, he was allowed to carry on with his fraudulent activities for many more years. Lindon even had a Sex Offenders Protection Order against him following his sentencing for peadofile crimes and money laundering, serving a lengthy term in prison, he used the Prices Trust to manipulate them to assist him in creating DCM and launching his fraud and illegal activities against Society and disabled people in particular. Lindon even claimed to have severe sight & hearing impairments, and even used a Black Labrador called Zeb, who he told people he was given by the Charity Guide Dogs and even entered into a relationship with this Charity until his own claims to have a Charity that gave out £3 Million Pounds to disabled people, however once the Charities Commission were notified of his claims, he quickly closed down the web pages making these statements, but continued his activities without any investigations from anyone in a regulatory position. He even dealt with cases of sexual abuse against young people and dealt with a School, despite being on the sex offenders register for life and having a Sex Offenders Protection Order in his name to protect Society from his deviant actions! A great many people should be hanging their heads in shame for allowing Lindon and DCM to continue to operate for years before Surrey Police were called into action in to his activities and then they took the time to listen to a number of people who were swindled by him and DCM and the actions of a disability activists who fought tirelessly to bring him to justice, despite the effect it had on them and their reputation and their business. I would call on anyone who has been stung by Lindon & DCM to tell their stories so that the truth of the scale of his illegal activities can been seen once and for all and I call on The Ministry Of Justice to launch an urgent Public Inquiry into why no-one could do anything to stop him in his tracks. I also call on the Banking Authorities to look into why Lindon was allowed to take out cash funds from a client account and spend on his secret activities. To steal from pensioners and disabled people and these who are unable to pay for legal representation following the Legal Aid Changes under the Conservative & Coalition Governments is reprehensible and surely the lowest of criminal acts, yet this is just what he was allowed to get away with, day after day for 7 years……..

    • ia rahman

      In 2010 I was told about DCM by a disabled organization I belong to who were representing me with the discrimination I encountered accessing London buses.
      I was offered a no win no fee contract by DCM at cost of £50, five years later to cut a long story short after paying over £1000 in fees my case finally reached the court .
      DCM sent a solicitor to represent me at court this solicitor did not no anything about my case has never practiced in the UK as he has just arrived from Nigeria and he was training with DCM with out any pay.
      After finding out this information I decided to cut my loss as I new this man was going to loose my case for me.
      Then I started getting threats to be sued by DCM.
      The stress I had to go through was just too much.
      Sadly I have experienced poor quality people running our schools, social services and the police so it doesn’t surprise me that Karl lindan got away with this for so long.

      • What a terrible story, but sadly one that seems to be shared by so many. Would you be able to email me with some more details, please, including the charity that directed you to Lindon? My email is: john@disabilitynewsservice.com

        You might also be interested in this follow-up story: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/ministry-of-justice-failure-may-have-exposed-hundreds-to-fraudsters-activities/

      • AdamLotunWDA

        I have sadly become numb to hearing the stories of what this man and his business has put vulnerable people through. Did you report this matter to anyone? If so, would you mind dropping me a line with details of who you spoke to and what, if any actions they took? What was the comment from the Court about your decision? I wouldalso like to see if your complaint could still be taken forward with the Bus Company. If you would like to discuss this any further,please reply and I will assist in any way possible, as I am looking to assist a Solicitor with building a Class Action against Statutory Organisations and Regulatory Bodies, as despite being alerted to the actions of this conman from 201, nothing was done by anybody and he was allowed to carry on with his activities until we finally managed to get support and evidence to a Police Force in taking decisive action which has now led to the imprisonment on this man. Adam…