Conman swindled £850k by claiming he was an MI6 spy and Putin’s friend

A serial fraudster tricked his fiance into believing he was a spy for MI6 before swindling her out of thousands.

Carolyn Woods was engaged to a man she knew as Mark Conway.

He filled her head with lies about being a spy for MI6 conducting secret missions overseas in countries like Iran and Syria.

Mark had also claimed to be pals with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin – all to impress a "sophisticated and educated" 54-year old Carolyn, who hung on his every word.

The pair met in January 2012 when he entered a shop she worked in. He claimed to be 46, when he was in fact, 38. He asked for her number and so began Carolyn's nightmare.

He would tell her how he 'had never been truly loved by anyone' and how beautiful and perfect for him she was.

Then one day, after he's moved her into a country home he claimed was his, she heard him speaking on the phone about a cashflow problem where he claimed to be short of £26,000.

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She offered to help him with her savings but he initially declined but later agreed to £22k.

Over time, there would be more borrowing, until he swindled her out of a whooping £850k – and when she discovered who he really was, she was heartbroken.

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She said to MailOnline: "I knew him as Mark Conway, but his real name was Mark Acklom.

"He was a serial fraudster who first made the headlines in 1991 when, as a 16-year-old, he had stolen his father's credit card, flown by private jet to Paris and treated his friends to champagne and lobster dinners.

"He had subsequently embarked on a criminal career which had seen him jailed for fraud in both the UK and Spain."

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She went on to write a book about the experience entitled 'Sleeping with A Psychopath' as she claims to be convinced that he is a psychopath, a social predator with no conscience and an inability to feel love, compassion, guilt or remorse."

Mark Acklom was on Britain's National Crime Agency's list of 10 most-wanted fugitives for a criminal career that began at the age of 16.

He has been imprisoned five times in Spain since 1999.

In August 2019, he pleaded guilty to five offences totalling around £300,000 and the remaining 15 charges remain on file.

He was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison.

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