'˜First class' Milton Keynes couple sentenced for train travel fraud

A couple who used fraudulent tickets to travel first class on trains have been fined.

Monday, 3rd April 2017, 3:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:06 pm

Simon Church and Yulia Lisovtseva were caught whilst on board a service between London and York on November 5 last year.

50-year-old Church, of Wishford Avenue in Nottingham and 44-year-old Lisovtseva of Harlow Crescent in Milton Keynes, had been travelling in first class on a Virgin Trains East Coast service with two children on fraudulent travel cards.

When the train guard examined their cards he noticed that it looked like they had been altered, he became suspicious and challenged the couple who could offer no valid explanation.

The guard contacted BTP and the train was met by officers on its arrival into York.

When spoken to by officers at York, it was quickly apparent that Church and Lisovtseva should not have been in possession of the travel cards, which were later discovered to have been stolen.

They also had a number of other tickets on them including travel cards, train tickets and bus season passes.

A search of Lisovtseva’s house also uncovered a number of additional rail cards which when examined, alongside the original documents, by BTP’s financial investigators and fraud specialists from Virgin Trains, they were all deemed to be counterfeit.

Lisovtseva who initially pleaded not guilty but changed her plea at the last minute, was sentenced at York Magistrates’ Court on March 22 to fraud.

This included two counts of theft and possessing articles in connection with fraud, and was fined £1,305 and remanded in custody from January to March 2017. Church was sentenced on March 15 and fined £655 after pleading guilty to fraud.

PC Frances Mount said: “Both Church and Lisovtseva had been knowingly using fraudulent tickets to travel.

“Other documentation discovered at Lisovtseva’s house also demonstrated this wasn’t a one-off incident, and that she had been altering a number of other documents to obtain fraudulent travel.

“BTP and the train operating companies have specialist teams who deal solely with fraud and counterfeit tickets.

“Fraud on the rail network costs the rail industry hundreds of thousands of pounds every year, money which could be reinvested into our rail network.”