ROGUE TRADER JAILED FOR 20 MONTHS – “CHARGED £5,000 FOR DEHUMIDIFIER OVER BOGUS DAMP”
A rogue trader has been jailed at Croydon court after pleading guilty to fraud following a prosecution brought by Bromley trading standards.
The 29 year old man from Westerham, Kent pleaded guilty to seven charges. He was sentenced to a total of 20 months imprisonment.
The investigation began when trading standards received a complaint from a Biggin Hill woman who had paid the man a deposit of £800 for a new bathroom, which he failed to deliver.
On investigating further, it transpired he had also charged the elderly resident £5,000 for a dehumidifier which he said was needed because of damp in the attic. Investigations by a surveyor revealed there was no damp and the dehumidifier would not have resolved the issue.
Enquiries with trading standards officers at the London borough of Sutton identified a further incident in Sutton where an older male was charged in excess of £14,000 for the hire of a dehumidifier for bogus damp issues in his loft.
Further cases were identified through a meticulous investigation by the investigating officer, resulting in a total of 10 fraud charges being brought to court. Three remain on file.
One victim, who wants to remain anonymous, said “I hope he’s learned his lesson and thinks about what he has done and the upset he has caused people”.
Bromley’s executive councillor for public protection and safety Cllr Kate Lymer said, “This is a common scam which consumers must be warned about.
“Trading standards have seen a number of cases over the past couple of years where vulnerable consumers have been tricked into paying so called refundable deposits for equipment.
BOLD”Any trader who suggests that a dehumidifier needs to be put in an attic is almost certainly a crook”.
The man was sentenced at Croydon crown court on 22nd July 2016 having pleaded guilty to seven charges of fraud contrary to section 2, fraud by false representation. (Source: Bromley council press release)