A disgraced ex-Blackpool Airport pilot has been victimized by an £80,000 flight simulator scam

A disgraced pilot has been ordered to repay just £168 after securing a £77,000 loan against a flight simulator that did not belong to him.

Craig Seville, 46, had several successful aviation businesses and flew around the world with his former employers DHL. He also directed The Flight Academy of Blackpool Airport.

Between 2010 and 2012, Seville embarked on a professional flight simulator, worth over £100,000, for use at its flight school. However, during this period he fell into financial difficulties and used the equipment as collateral against a chattel mortgage to be secured against the flight simulator with an investment company.

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But Sevilla’s difficulties don’t end there. About 12 months later, the pilot needed more money and convinced one of the flight school students to lend him some money.

An aerial view of Blackpool Airport

Seville, from Manchester Road, Rossendale, offered the flight simulator as security for this loan even though, under the prior movable hypothec, the flight simulator did not belong to him. When he failed to keep up with repayments, he pretended to be in debt to a loan shark in order to convince the same student to restructure his existing loan agreement with him and obtain additional funding from him.

In 2012 Sevilla, still struggling with finances, managed to convince another flight school owner to buy Flight Academy Blackpool Ltd in 2012 with the promise that the flight simulator would then be theirs. It was only after buying the company that it was discovered that this was not the case.

Sevilla was found guilty of fraud at Preston Crown Court and was found to have swindled £77,000 from the scam. In February 2022, he was sentenced to four months in prison after pleading guilty to fraud.

A proceeds of crime hearing, held in August 2022, revealed he had just £167.96 in assets available. Judge Richard Archer ordered him to repay the money within three months or face six months in prison by default.

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