Search

Hornchurch company fined after targeting schools and charities with paper scam

11:21 04 August 2014

Romford Magistrates

Romford Magistrates' Court

Archant

A company and its director have been fined thousands of pounds after scamming schools and charities into buying paper at an inflated price.

Paul Siddle of Green Glades, Emerson Park, director of Express Business Products Ltd in Station Lane, Hornchurch, pleaded guilty to five offences when he appeared at Romford Magistrates’ Court on Monday last week.

His company, which was found guilty of the same counts under the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations, cold called the schools and charities, offering printing paper at a cheaper price than other suppliers.

Upon receiving the goods, the buyers discovered the reams only contained 250 sheets, not the traditional 500, and as a result, they were charged double the price.

A nationwide investigation followed and unearthed complaints from Cornwall, east Yorkshire, Coventry, Kent and Brighton.

The company, which states on its website “we guarantee to beat the price you pay for office stationery!” was charged a total of £3,980 - a fine of £500 per offence, £1,360 in prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £120.

Mr Siddle, 40, received a 10 per cent reduction in fines for his guilty pleas and was handed a £4,400 bill - £450 per offence, £2,000 costs, a £120 victim surcharge and £30 compensation to one of the schools.

Cllr Osman Dervish, Havering’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “While these scammers may think they’re clever in the way they mislead innocent people, they will be caught out and brought to justice.

“This company deceived these schools and charities out of money and we will not tolerate that.”

Anyone who needs advice on related matters can contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506.

The council has urged businesses to take precautions against scammers, including requesting offers in writing and restricting the number of employees who can approve purchases.

Read more:

‘I didn’t even know where Guinea Bissau was’ - Hornchurch ‘fraud’ victim charged hundreds for calls to west Africa

Hornchurch residents latest victims of Guinea-Bissau phone fraud

Phone scam widens as mystery calls to Bosnia-Herzegovina appear on Rise Park man’s bill

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 19:07
David Efemena, 14, of Elm Park, died while on a cadet camping trip in Hampshire.

An inquest into the death of a 14-year-old at a military base heard of the frustration felt by a more senior air cadet as he struggled to contact group leaders.

Yesterday, 16:55
Margaret Clifton with smashed door frame

A trustee says she “burst into tears” when she saw the church had been broken into just hours after a burglary at another place of worship .

Yesterday, 15:49
Safer Transport Team Fun Day at Romford Market.Yusaf Butt, four on a police motorbike

Youngsters dressed up and sat in emergency vehicles while learning about transport safety this week.

Yesterday, 13:04
The stabbing happened on August 10 in Recreation Avenue, Romford

An 18-year-old has been charged over a stabbing that took place in Romford.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder