Walsall rogue trader to pay £5k after laundering offences
A rogue trader who carried out unnecessary maintenance work on a property has been given a two-year suspended prison sentence.
Brian Hems, aged 44, of Buxton Close, Bloxwich, was also ordered to pay £5,000 in compensation to his victim.
Hems was sentenced 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 after pleading guilty to six counts of money laundering offences at Stoke Crown Court.
The unnecessary work had been carried out at a house in Tamworth, Staffordshire, in August 2016.
Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader Gill Heath said that it was a ‘shocking’ amount of money to have been paid by one victim for work on their property, which she added had been ‘totally unnecessary’.
She added: “The victim’s bank alerted police and our trading standards team.
“It was 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.
“It 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.
“They should seek three or more quotes for any work that may be needed on their homes.
“They should also always contact police or trading standards if they have any concerns about the work.”