A Notts-based gang which conned pensioners using a scam that is estimated to run into millions of pounds for shoddy work to their properties are awaiting sentencing for fraud.
The case is led by East Midlands Scambusters Team, a regional investigation unit set up by the National Trading Standards Board.
Evidence relating to 97 victims from across the East Midlands, Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire formed the prosecution’s case against the individuals, but it is recognised that there are many more.
The scale of the fraud makes it one of the biggest rogue trader cases ever dealt with by the team and it is estimated the victims involved in this case had lost around £228,000.
All victims were elderly, frail or vulnerable – in some instances all three – and a number were targeted on many occasions by the gang. Their ages ranged from the mid-60s to the 90s.
Six members of the group, who had originally pleaded not guilty, changed their plea to guilty one week into a seven-week trial.
Tyrone St John Beard of Dunroamin, Marnham Road, Tuxford; Marcus Reading, of Marnham Road, Tuxford; Simon Davies, of Ash Vale, Tuxford; Michael Sean Sumner, of Peel Avenue, Tuxford; Christopher Russell of Rowan Drive, Kirkby and Mohammed Zulbair Ditta, of Hawes Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire, will all be sentenced on 12th June at Nottingham Crown Court.
The group used a variety of company names, including Tileshield, Tileshield Coatings, Weatherproof and Nationwide Roof Coatings Yorkshire Ltd.
They persuaded the victims that they needed improvements to their driveway or roof coatings.
In all cases the work was paid for in full but either not carried out to the agreed specification or not carried out at all.
Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, chair of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community Safety Committee, said: “The scale of the fraud in this case is unprecedented and sickening, especially as the victims were all vulnerable people who handed over considerable sums of money from their hard-earned savings for at best shoddy and at worst non-existent work.”
In one of the worst examples of the gang’s work a consumer who was promised that the roof would be as good as new was left with damage to their roof including damage to tiles, felt and rafters.
The rear elevation of the roof also had to be later replaced.
In another example a consumer had to pay a further £4,250 +VAT to a reputable trader to rectify the damage caused to her roof by the gang’s shoddy work.