Payback time for Facebook 'troll' who once threatened to shoot US schoolchildren and later ran social media scam

A Facebook "troll" who made threats to shoot American schoolchildren then ran cruel social media scam he hoped would let him "retire early" has had all of his possessions seized.

Monday, 23rd July 2018, 3:47 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd July 2018, 3:52 pm
Reece Elliott

Reece Elliott, 29, was jailed for two years in 2013 after his online death threats led to 3,000 children being kept away from classes in Warren County, Tennessee, USA and schools put on lock down while the FBI investigated.

Earlier this year, he was jailed for 22 months after he advertised, via bogus Facebook profiles, designer trainers and branded clothing at knock-down prices but gave buyers nothing in return for their cash.

Elliott, who lived "above his means" in a home filled with "high value, cash purchased goods" boasted he was "making £1,200 per hour" in the con, which left over 125 social media users out of pocket.

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After he received the jail term in February, investigators launched proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which meant any assets he had available could be seized by the authorities.

His case was before a judge at Newcastle Crown Court, where it was determined he had personally pocketed £15,280 in the designer sales scam but he only has £3,780 in assets available to be seized.

The court heard £1,000 of the £3,780 will be generated through the auction of some of his personal property, including computer and phone equipment.

The other £2,780 was cash seized during his arrest.

His barrister John Wilkinson told the court: "They have got the cash, they have got the phones and the computers, they are getting rid of them.

"If they don't achieve the £1,000 price they have put upon them, they will have to come back and get the order varied."

Elliott, who was not at the hearing and is still serving his prison sentence, faces a further seven days imprisonment if the £3,780 is not paid within three months.

The court heard £880 of the cash that was seized will be used as compensation for victims.

In the recent cruel scam, Elliott, who used fake profile names and used other people's bank accounts for the cash to be paid into, bragged that those he was ripping off would "never trace him" and branded them "scum".

His phone messages showed that when his girlfriend complained about his behaviour, Elliott's response was to ask where she thought the money for "Sunday dinners" came from and he told her "until a legit job comes along, I will scam".

He also said "I want to retire early".

Police traced ten victims of the Facebook frauds but Elliott himself confessed there were "far more victims".

In a separate, similar internet scam, Elliott advertised that he could offer fake, or clean up, driving licences for customers and it remains unclear how many victims fell foul to the DVLA fraud.

Elliott, of Fossway, South Shields, had admitted conspiracy to defraud and fraud.

In 2013, self-confessed internet "troll" Elliott had claimed on Facebook he was about to murder his own father before driving to a US school to slay "at least 200" pupils and then turn his gun on himself.

The FBI and Homeland security was brought in to investigate as terror spread across the American county, which a judge said was the result of Elliott's "self indulgent nastiness".

Elliott had said on one public post: "My father has three guns.

"I'm planning on killing him first and putting his body in the dumpster.

"Then I'm driving to the school. I'm going in fast. Hopefully it will be at least 200 before I kill myself."

It was when US media coverage into the threats intensified, Elliott handed himself into the police.

He confessed at the time he was a "troller" who posted offensive messages in a bid to provoke a reaction and row.