A ROGUE trader who carried out unnecessary maintenance work on a Tamworth property has been handed a two-year suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay £5,000 victim compensation after pleading guilty to money laundering offences.
Brian Hems, 44, from Buxton Close, Bloxwich, was sentenced on Monday for offences relating to laundering £34,250 in cheques from a single victim after carrying out the work. The prosecution followed an investigation by Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards team. In addition, Hems was ordered to pay £2,000 costs at Stoke Crown Court.
Hems committed the offences in August 2016 and pleaded guilty to six counts of money laundering on February 12 this year.
Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader Gill Heath said:
“This is a shocking amount of money to have been paid by one victim for work on their property which was totally unnecessary.
“The victim’s bank alerted police and our trading standards team because of the large amount of money being paid out of their customer’s account. This demonstrates how closer working between banks and the authorities is helping to catch criminals in the act.
“We are pleased with the result of this case, which sends out a strong message that our team will pursue any criminal activity. We would also ask people to be extremely wary of cold callers and to seek three or more quotes for any work needed on their homes. They should always contact police or trading standards if they have any concerns.
Who do I contact if I am a consumer and I am concerned about a scam?
Please contact Citizens Advice on 03454 040506 for help with the following:
- To report unfair or illegal business and trading practices
- To find out your rights when buying goods and services
- For help when things go wrong
- To report unsafe, misdescribed or counterfeit goods including food
- If you are concerned about a friend, relative or neighbour who is being scammed.
Trading Standards Confidential
If your wish to report a crime you can leave a voice message with Trading Standards Confidential. Please note this is not an advice line.
Where the matters reported result in formal investigation they may contact you for further information, unless indicated otherwise.
Trading Standards Confidential: 01785 330356.
Who do I contact if I am from a business?
Staffordshire County Council Public Protection provides support and training to businesses to help them comply with Trading Standards requirements and enforcing a wide range of legislation relating to the supply and distribution of goods and services and incorporates the following teams:
Telephone: 0300 111 8002