Rogue traders jailed for targeting the elderly in Chester
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Two men and a woman were sentenced for their part in defrauding elderly residents out of £398,490
The three appeared at Chester Crown Court on 27 June to be sentenced after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.
Andrew Lovell, 43, from Coppice Green, Elton pleaded guilty to nine counts of fraud by false representation and money laundering. He was sentenced to four years six months.
Madeline Lovell, 41, of the same address pleaded guilty to three counts fraud by false representation and money laundering. She was sentenced to 27 months.
Kevin Brown, 61, from Llys Ont Y Felin in Mold pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation and money laundering. He was sentenced to 18 months.
Detectives from Cheshire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit (ECU) began investigating reports of rogue traders operating in the Cheshire and Merseyside areas in 2022.
The defendants would persuade their victims that work was required on their home, and in most cases no work was needed.
Once the victims agreed for the work to take place on their home, it was then completed to an extremely poor standard and the pricing of the work was extortionate.
DC Gareth Yates from the Economic Crime Unit said: “These elderly residents were in essence held to ransom by these cold and calculating defendants. They were made to feel they had no option but to pay, for often shoddy work, at highly inflated prices.
“The Economic Crime Unit was determined to catch the offenders who were preying on members of the community, who were often having to break into their life savings to pay these individuals off.
“They knew they’d been defrauded, but were unable to fight back, they felt powerless, frustrated, and embarrassed.
“They were made to feel unsafe in their own home and left in fear of what would happen if they didn’t pay.”
A detailed investigation was carried out by the Economic Crime which utilised an array of police tactics including forensic analysis of financial, telecom and ANPR data to link these suspects to the crimes they had committed.
An independent chartered surveyor was brought in to detail the losses to each victim in his separate reports. He noted that the work was extremely poor and in some case wasn’t required.
The defendants were arrested in raids at their home addresses following an extensive investigation by the ECU and subsequently charged.
DC Yates said: “Our dedicated team will stop at nothing to root out those who commit fraud especially against our most vulnerable members of our society. We will continue to disrupt their illegal activities and protect our communities by putting these criminals behind bars.”