Directors plead guilty to £300k claims scam in Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes Council
Milton Keynes Council

Following a long and complex investigation, Milton Keynes Council Trading Standards has prosecuted two company directors responsible for a claims management scam relating to hundreds of useless claims for mis-sold solar panels.

The companies behind the scam, Verity Claims Ltd and Verity Claims (UK) Ltd were based in offices at Interchange Park, Newport Pagnell but their victims were from all parts of the UK.

Throughout 2014 they cold-called customers of defunct solar panel companies who had mis-sold the panels, and assured them that they had a good case for mis-selling and they were very likely to get some, if not all, of their money back.

The victims were asked to pay a non-refundable fee of £495 each which Verity Claims said they would use to pay for legal costs and their claims management service.

Some 679 customers paid £495 each to Verity Claims Ltd and Verity Claims UK Ltd in the belief that the company would make a claim on their behalf.

In reality, there was no prospect of making a successful claim because the original solar panel companies had long gone out of business and compensation could not be claimed from a credit provider because the victims had paid cash.

In total £336,000 was taken from victims but no claims were progressed.

On Monday 25 September 2017 at Aylesbury Crown Court, George Michael Burbidge of Giffard Park, Milton Keynes and David Paul Sperring of Welcombe Grove, Solihull, who were directors of Verity Claims, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud.

They are additionally required to pay compensation of £336,000 to their fraud victims and costs to Milton Keynes Council. Mr Burbidge and Mr Sperring will return to court for sentencing on 11 December 2017.

Sue Crawley, Trading Standards Manager said: “The victims had been scammed originally by their solar panel supplier who mis-sold the panels to them and they were scammed a second time by the misleading claims of Verity Claims. This was a very serious fraud with a large number of victims. MKC is very pleased with the outcome of this case especially as we have secured compensation for so many people.”