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

42 minutes ago
Movember students Daniella Howell and Maddison Kirrage, both 11, at Sanders School

Now that November has come to an end the students of Sanders school celebrated the annual facial hair festival with by giving their teachers nice clean hair free faces last week.

Yesterday, 18:38
Off-target: The A&E at Queen's

A worrying increase in people attending hospital A&E departments last month has led to patients facing longer and longer waits.

Yesterday, 12:04
The westbound A13 is closed at the junction with Ferry Lane [Photograph from Google StreetView]

The A13 was closed near Ferry Lane yesterday as police discovered a dead body in a car.

Yesterday, 11:47
myplace, Harold Hill, in April 2012, the last time the show came to Havering

Immigration, Facebook and class war were hotly debated in an episode of the BBC’s flagship debating programme from Harold Hill last night.

Most read news

WW100

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

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition

The comedian returned to his home town for the prestigious award ceremony.

The helicopter crashed through the roof of the Clutha pub.

Twitter sat back and watched as the world went bargain-hunting crazy on Black Friday.

There was definitely something buzzing at JCB when he delivered his immigration speech.