TWO con artists are facing jail for their parts in an £800,000 "boiler room" fraud.

Paul Muldoon and Vikki King, from Basildon, were part of a gang which swindled £805,469.29 out of unsuspecting members of the public.

The pair were led by Darren Flood - who was married to former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham's sister Louise Adams - and boasted to some investors of the link to the star family in a bid to give the scam legitimacy.

The group targeted vulnerable people, mainly the elderly, through cold-calling, persuading them to invest large sums of money in materials known as rare earth elements, falsely promising big returns.

Kingston Crown Court heard 34-year-old Muldoon - the main salesman for The Commodities Link (TCL) - "made great play of Darren Flood being David Beckham's brother-in-law" during his sales pitch to a victim who lost more than £62,000.

There is no suggestion the Beckhams knew anything about the scam or about any use of the Beckham name.

Flood, of Ware Road in Hertford, joined TCL in 2012 as a director, and had various responsibilities including bringing in "high net worth" clients, the court heard.

In total, seven members of the con are being sentenced for the fraud, which scammed investors out of a total of £805,469.29.

Flood, Gennaro Fiorentino, Mark Whitehead, Vikki King and Jonathan Docker had denied conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation but were convicted by a jury in November.

Muldoon and Stephen Todd had admitted the same charge, which is dated between April 2012 and August 2014.

The elements - rare earth metals and oxides - were practically worthless but were sold to TCL investors for up to 200 times more than the original purchase price.

Stephen Shay, prosecuting, told the court: "The Crown's case is that TCL was a typical 'boiler room' enterprise, set up with the purpose of inducing unsuspecting members of the public to invest in rare earth metals."

He said the group had seized on a good news story about a spike in prices of rare earth elements, often used in mobile phones and computers, but that by the time TCL was taking investments from people in 2012, those prices had dropped.

Mr Shay added: "TCL made representations about the suitability of rare earths as an investment over the telephone and in brochures. These representations were false."

Among the fraud's 24 victims were a widower, a retired policeman and a multiple sclerosis sufferer who complained that a telephone sales agent became abusive when he refused to pay more money.

Another victim, a widow in her 80s, was taken to lunch by Basildon pair Muldoon and King, 39, a number of times near the firm's rented offices in London's Canary Wharf as the con continued.

Muldoon and Todd, 37, of Blackwall Way, in Tower Hamlets, London, are in custody while the five others, including, King, are all on bail.

The sentencing hearing is expected to last two days.