March 15 2014 Latest news:
by Sam Gelder
Monday, December 9, 2013
An accomplice to a gang of cold-calling builders who took an 87-year-old Upminster man for £64,000 has been jailed for 18 months for money laundering.
Terry Herbert, 28, of Galway Close, Southwark, pleaded guilty to retaining wrongful credit at Chelmsford Crown Court.
He was investigated by police and Havering Council’s trading standards officers after the elderly man had paid £64,000 for home improvement work that never got done.
The victim said he was tricked into agreeing to pay £84,000 for the work after being approached by the builders.
After agreeing, he was asked to pay £64,000 immediately in cash.
When he complained about having to withdraw the large amount of money, he was convinced by the builders, who provided him with an alternative bank account, owned by Terry Herbert, to transfer the funds into.
But the builders never returned to the property to complete the work, and have yet to be identified by police, who approached other builders in the area to try and trace them.
Appearing in court on November 14, Herbert was ordered to pay back £19,022.06 in compensation to the victim as well as £14,473.41 in court costs.
Cabinet member for public protection, Cllr Lesley Kelly, said: “This case is evident of how by sharing resources and information, those who don’t play by the rules are quickly identified and made to feel the full force of the law.
“With Christmas approaching and the new year on the horizon I would urge all residents to take extra care, stay safe and remember your consumer rights.”
Herbert maintains he did not know the builders who demanded money from the victim, but that he allowed a man who approached him in a bar to use his bank account.