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Lettings firm boss spared jail

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

The boss of a Black Country lettings agency who raided its bank account to fund his gambling habit and trips to lap dancing clubs has been spared prison.

The boss of a Black Country lettings agency who raided its bank account to fund his gambling habit and trips to lap dancing clubs has been spared prison.

Brendan Taylor pocketed deposits from tenants of properties let through his Wolverhampton-based firm Moorfoot Estates Ltd.

The 36-year-old then squandered thousands of pounds at a casino and a "gentleman's club", the city's crown court heard.

He carried on running the doomed business after being declared bankrupt.

Prosecutor Mr Tony Watkin said: "Taylor was drinking heavily and became a regular at both a local casino and a lap dancing club. Much of the money he was spending in these places came directly from the company bank account.

"The company was in serious financial trouble and was being chased for non-payment of tax. That is when Taylor did a moonlight flit and went on holiday to the Canary Islands."

Deposits from tenants had not been put in a ring-fenced Government scheme where they should have been kept.

Officials checked 98 tenancy agreements where almost £53,000 should have been placed and discovered that almost £42,000 was missing. Just £10,545 of this could be proved not to have been returned to landlords or tenants, said Mr Watkin.

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Mr Andrew Mitchinson, defending Taylor, said: "He began gambling and was waiting for the big win that never came."

Taylor, formerly of Kennel Lane in Albrighton and now of Burbage Close, Fallings Park, admitted fraudulent trading from the launch of Moorfoot Estates in April 2007 until its collapse in July 2009. He pleaded guilty to being the director of a company while a bankrupt.

He was yesterday given a 10-month jail term, suspended for 18 months, with 120 hours of unpaid work, disqualified from acting as a director for six years and ordered to pay £2,000 costs.

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