Trading standards officers work with police to convict rogue traders
Co-ordinated action between Monmouthshire’s trading standards service and Gwent Police has resulted in the successful prosecution of two rogue traders. Charlie Lee, 19, of Justin Caravan Park in Northampton pleaded guilty to one count of fraud, and his 17-year-old accomplice, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and one count of concealing criminal property.
At their sentencing at Newport Crown Court, prosecutor Matthew Cobbe said between September 14th and October 8th last year they took advantage of a vulnerable man from Monmouth, aged 61, stealing £47,000.
Giving false names, Lee and his accomplice carried out work to his roof, gutters, garden and path pressing him to withdraw large sums via bank transfer. It was only when his bank raised concerns that an investigation was prompted.
The Monmouth resident contacted the Citizen’s Advice Bureau which referred him to Monmouthshire County Council’s trading standards officers. They immediately suspected serious fraud and worked with the police to secure an arrest. A council surveyor estimated that the value of the work undertaken was no more than £2,200.
Lee was sentenced to 19 months in custody and his co accused received a detention training order and 18 months in custody.
Monmouthshire’s Trading Standards service team leader Gareth Walters commented: “We are very keen to reduce the incidence of rogue trading and will work closely with the police and residents. The sentences given by the court in this case reflect the serious nature of the crime.