A “confident and accomplished fraudster” who fleeced a host of West Ham stars and former England boss Sam Allardyce in a luxury hamper scam has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Stephen Ackerman of Hillcroft, Loughton, promised Fortnum & Mason hampers and champagne to Allardyce and players including striker Andy Carroll in December 2014, raking in £7,310.

He then took a total of £54,730 in unauthorised payments from the bank accounts of the manager, players and club staff after using a handheld chip and pin device.

Sentencing Ackerman, 48, at Snaresbrook Crown Court today (November 25), judge David Radford called Ackerman a “truly deceitful and dishonest man”.

Ackerman was found guilty of 18 counts of fraud at the court on October 31.

Using the pseudonym Mark Kingston, he attended the Hammers’ Chadwell Heath training ground on December 12 2014, claiming to sell hampers and Dom Perignon champagne among other luxury items.

He was said to have had “all the trappings of a successful businessman”, promising delivery of goods in time for Christmas.

Allardyce bought 12 bottles of champagne and wine, with Carroll and defenders James Tomkins and Aaron Cresswell also paying.

However, the luxury goods were never delivered and some of the victims then noticed unauthorised payments of thousands of pounds being charged to their bank accounts.

During the trial, Allardyce said he received a call asking if he had authorised a £1,272 payment at Harrods, and contacted the bank saying he had not.

The victims reported the matter to police and Ackerman was arrested on March 5 2015 following an investigation by Newham CID.

He was charged on October 22 2015 with 13 counts of fraud, four offences related to the use of compromised bank cards and one count of possessing an article for use in fraud.

Ackerman was caught after search warrants were carried out at addresses linked to him throughout Essex and Hertfordshire.

Police also obtained evidence of telephone calls with Ackerman purporting to be Mark Kingston while using a credit card belonging to one of the footballers.

He received the four year sentence today despite Charles Royle, mitigating, claiming Ackerman was only a “part player” in the fraud.

Following the judgement, acting detective sergeant Jamie Snell from Newham CID said: “Ackerman preyed on the trust of people he approached and essentially told an elaborate pack of lies in order to get them to part with their cash.

“He defrauded a total of £61,047 from his victims and thought that due to their fame they would never report the matter to the police.

“He is a confident and accomplished fraudster and we are delighted with the maximum sentence that was passed today.”

Ackerman had “numerous previous convictions for fraud” with the most recent in 2013, prosecutor Samuel Trefgarne told the court.

Sentencing Ackerman, the judge said: “The fact of the offences and your highly relevant past record from committing similar criminal offences both here and abroad reveal you to be a truly deceitful and dishonest man who has persistently, premeditatedly and shamelessly defrauded others over your criminal career.

“I had the opportunity of seeing and hearing you give evidence before the jury and that experience to me, revealed you have no scruples whatsoever, telling lie after lie to try and deceive others.”

Ackerman has an “endemic willingness to use dishonest means to obtain other people’s property”, the judge added.