Alex Levi and Maurice Duchamp: Theft from freelance cameraman

The following theft was reported by the Xhire web form.

Submission Time   : 26-Mar-14 03:08

Your Name         : Simon Shen

Your organisation : Freelance Cameraman based in London

Telephone         : 07447922235

E-mail Address    : simonshen87@hotmail.com

Name(s) of fraudulent hirer.: Alex Levi from Maurice Dumchamp

Name of fraudulent organisation, address and website if available: Alex Levi on behave of Maurice Duchamp production of Maurice News Production

 Fake insurance policy registered under ‘Zurich’ Group

 They posted an online ad on production base and FTP

List the main items of kit stolen.: Canon 5D mark 2 with Full rig Zeiss ZF Prime lens set Cineroid EVF Formatt Matt box Lee ND Filter set Vinten Avocet 90 tripod & fluid head Sachtler Tripod DA100 Short Leg all the accessories etc.

How was the fraud carried out?  Please supply as much detail as possible.: A fake production company called Maurice Duchamp hired my camera equipment kit.They provided a fake insurance document.

I delivered the equipment to a man named Alex Levi outside the Mayfair hotel in London.

They’ve now disappeared with my kit.

Police details and crime number: Action Fraud Ref: NFRC140300574788 Police Ref:CHS10958 Any other information you wish to share with the broadcast hire community: Alex Levi, male, late 20s or eariler 30s, approx 6′ height, facial bread, mediterranean or turkish, barely speak english, worn a black jumper with baseball cap.

His personal number which is permanently switched off:  07823918873

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Additional details received by email:

Thank you very much for your reply, I’m really appreciate for the help in regarding to my case. Just to giving you more information about the case.

So basically, The Maurice Duchamp production company advertised a production assistant job on production base websites (the ads are still live).

They obviously found what they were looking for because their new production assistant contacted me about hiring my equipment. I was sent an insurance document and told to meet a man named Alex Levi outside the Mayfair hotel. And they were willing to pay me 200 pound for the first install payment as deposit. (300 quid in total for two days rental in the weekend.)

I delivered the equipment to him, received a cash payment and thought everything was fine. The following day I had a worried call from the production assistant who told me his phone was switched off. She sensed it was a scam so we done some digging. The insurance document is fake and we tried to call and contact Maurice Duchamp, but unfortunately there weren’t any response at all, also Alex Levi has disappeared.

I now realise they have scammed people before, but they always leave a trail. They paid for job ads on two websites and hired a room in the Mayfair hotel which they cancelled later.

It’s very unfortunate, this disaster happened on me, I reported to London metropolitan police right immediately, but it’s really sad, that the police didn’t do any helps at all, they kept me running around, waited and kicking me back and forth in between different department. In the end, they referred my case to a private company called ‘Action Fraud’ which also seems careless about my lost. There weren’t any execution or future progress from them at all since my last report. As there are many ways to track and chase them, through CCTV tape, their Mini Cab registration plate, hotel reservation etc, but no action preceded so far by ‘Action Fraud’. So right now I feel hopeless.

It’s a shame, that the total value of my kit is approx around 12000 pound, and I didn’t have any serial numbers for my camera and lens, as the lenses have all been rehoused and converted into cine-mode, However I’ve learnt my lesson in a hard way… I really hope the authorities could carry out some real action to resolve this case, as this ‘Maurice Duchamp’ guy still activating out there.

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