Photos that brought down $77k conman
ADAM Griffiths' social media accounts are filled with snaps of him living it up on luxury holidays - but it turns out his glamorous life was a lie.
The 29-year-old, from Swansea, Wales, has just been sentenced to two-and-a-half years behind bars after pleading guilty to three counts of fraud.
Griffiths was found to have stolen several travel agents' computer passcodes, which he then used to book and pay for exotic trips at the companies' expense.
But his brazen con was undone after his social media exploits started attracting attention.
Under the Instagram handle @iamchampagnecharlie, Griffiths, who describes himself as a private military contractor who is a "bit of a traveller and champagne lover", shared scores of snaps using hashtags such as #LuxLife #Champagne and #JetSet.
He posted snaps of himself lounging on a private yacht in Dubai, flying first class alongside former Liverpool and Chelsea striker Fernando Torres and sightseeing in Singapore.
He also shared photos of his holidays, his luxury alcohol collection and his various encounters with celebrities on his Twitter and Facebook accounts.
In one Twitter post, Griffiths boasted about having "one of the best suites" at a UK hotel and uploaded a photo of himself alongside seven bottles of Moet champagne.
In another, he claims to have "bumped into" UK X Factor finalist Sam Lavery while checking into a Hilton hotel at Wembley in London.
In the end, he managed to rack up a £44,000 ($A77,000) holiday bill before being caught by authorities.
According to the BBC, Griffiths pulled off the fraud by visiting the Tui and Burgess Travel branches in Swansea, where he would keep staff talking at length about various holidays.
But instead of listening to their advice, he spent the time noting down the employees' passwords which he then used to book getaways - including a stay at the seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai and the Seychelles.
The court heard Griffiths defrauded Tui of £39,466 ($A68,923) and Burgess Travel of £4700 ($A8208), the BBC reported.
Griffiths, who is unemployed and lives in a council house, committed the fraud in an attempt to be admired, lawyer Andrew Evans argued.
Mr Evans said his client had previously also lied about fighting against ISIS, contracting the deadly Ebola virus and having ties to Scotland Yard, which he blamed on "self-worth" issues.
He also explained he had experienced a troubled childhood and "feels a desperate need to be accepted".
However, Judge Geraint Walters wasn't moved by the claims.
"You are trying to be someone you are not and went to extravagant lengths to impress," he said.
Judge Walters compared Griffiths to Walter Mitty, the fictional character portrayed by Ben Stiller in the 2013 film The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty who creates an elaborate fantasy life for himself.
According to the Mirror, Griffiths also has prior convictions for impersonating a police officer.
The court also heard Griffiths could not afford to repay more than £1 out of the massive bill he had racked up.