Fraudster jailed for ten months

Milton Keynes Council
Milton Keynes Council
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A Newport Pagnell man was jailed for 10 months on Friday after pleading guilty to 25 counts of fraud.

Paul Collins, a partner with Thomas and Company Rentals, failed to pass on rents to landlords and failed to protect the deposits of tenants.

Milton Keynes Council’s Trading Standards team began an investigation after a number of complaints in late 2010, when landlords reported they weren’t receiving payments.

The court heard that as well as failing to pay landlords Mr Collins, of Lakes Lane, Newport Pagnell, failed to register the tenant’s deposits in a recognised deposit protection scheme – as required by law.

At Amersham Law Courts Mr Recorder Laird QC jailed Mr Collins for 10 months.

He said in sentencing that: “On occasion you met landlords yourself and face to face, with barefaced cheek, you lied to them saying that the business was sound when it wasn’t. The losses were around £110,000.”

He added: “Deposits paid by tenants were not protected in the appropriate way.  You told the authorities that you were aware of the legislation that required the protection of deposit monies.  You were eventually made bankrupt, and there is little prospect of these people receiving any recompense for their losses.  These were offences of a serious nature.  The money was never the property of Thomas and Company Rentals. It was others’ money.”

Head of Regulatory Unit for Milton Keynes Council, Karen Ford, said: “The sentence imposed reflects the seriousness with which the Court views those who defraud businesses and consumers”

“Trading Standards will always look to take action to protect the rights of the consumer and support legitimate traders in Milton Keynes.”