Harrow Crown Court has recently imposed sentences upon a couple, who pleaded guilty, to fraudulent trading involving a plumbing services scam.
Amandeep Murria sets out the law affecting and circumstances of this conviction.
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The Relevant Law | Fraudulent Trading Defence Solicitors
The Companies Act 2006 provides:
Section 993 Offence of fraudulent trading:
‘(1) If any business of a company is carried on with intent to defraud creditors of the company or creditors of any other person, or for any fraudulent purpose, every person who is knowingly a party to the carrying on of the business in that manner commits an offence.
(2) This applies whether or not the company has been, or is in the course of being, wound up.
(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable— (a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or a fine (or both); (b) on summary conviction— (i) in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (or both)’
The Circumstances | Fraudulent Trading Solicitors
- Between 2017 and 2018 the couple operated a company offering a 24/7 plumbing and drainage service and prospective customers would be attracted to the company’s website.
- The information contained on the website was misleading with some of the claims concerning the services offered being untrue. It was clear customers were influenced by this misleading information.
- Bookings for the services were only confirmed once payment details had been obtained in a manner which prevented customers from controlling how much was taken out of their accounts by the company.
- A number of customers were significantly overcharged for a poor standard of work and a number of complaints were made to the National Trading Standards Crime Team.
- Evidence recovered from laptops and mobile phones revealed the fraudulent trading.
The Hearing | Kangs National Trading Standards Solicitors
The couple pleaded guilty to the allegation of fraudulent trading and were sentenced to:
- 6 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months
- 80 hours unpaid work
- Payment of Compensation to the victims.
Lord Toby Harris, Chair of National Trading Standards was quoted and said:
“This scam saw the pair extort considerable sums of money from consumers, deceiving victims by masquerading as a local business online before charging higher costs for sub-standard or unnecessary work. This case highlights that crime does not pay – criminal fraudsters will be investigated by our teams and prosecuted.”
How Can We Help? | Kangs Trading Standards Defence Solicitors
The team at Kangs Solicitors has a wealth of experience and knowledge in dealing with Trading Standards Investigations and also all types of Regulatory matters. We can assist at the initial interview stage as well as any stage following interview under caution.
This can include amongst other things:
- Formulating a reply to Notices received by Trading Standards.
- Representation at dawn raids and interviews.
- Negotiation with Trading Standards to avoid prosecution.
- Defending prosecutions of every nature brought by Trading Standards.
Who Can I Contact for Help? | Kangs Trading Standards Defence Solicitors
Our team can be contacted through any of the following who would be happy to discuss your situation with you: