December 13 2013 Latest news:
Joshua Fowler, Reporter
Thursday, September 26, 2013
The owner of a Romford mini-cab company may be forced to sell his home to pay more than £125,000 in compensation to an 81-year-old man, after conning him out of his life savings.
Paul Trower, 63, of Harold Hill, was the subject of an investigation by the Safer Transport Command’s (STC) Payback Unit after his activities were brought to their attention in 2011.
Officers found Trower had conned an elderly man, from Orpington, into investing his life savings into his ‘renowned’ cab company - which in reality had only just been founded.
He was also in the process of taking possession of the victim’s home.
The STC halted the sale of the house to Trower, and froze his bank accounts before he could get rid of all the victim’s money.
Trower was arrested and convicted of fraud and money laundering on December 12 last year, and was sentenced to three years in prison - resulting in the closure of his cab firm.
Further confiscation proceedings were brought against Trower, who travelled from Hollesley Bay Prison, in Suffolk, to appear at Basildon Crown Court on September 20.
A confiscation order of £120,000, plus a further £5,850 in interest, was ordered by the judge. Trower was given six months to pay, or face a further two years imprisonment.
Ch Sup Sultan Taylor, of STC, said: “This was an excellent result which has not only seen a fraudster receive a robust jail sentence but also the end of his disreputable cab company, the loss of his personal wealth and a substantial compensational sum for the victim.
“Our message is clear: If you commit an offence, you will be caught and if convicted every avenue of punishment will be considered including the seizure of your assets. We will get those responsible.”
A 41-year-old man has been stabbed at an address in Harold Hill.