A man has been put behind bars after falsely posing as a letting agent to scam both landlords and tenants.
Reporting service Court News said that Adam Coote started his deceit with Andrew Rickard and Sahila Kauser in 2012. Coote had only just been released from prison for a similar offence.
Mr Coote, also know as Elliott Wilson, used fake agency names, such as Belgravia Property Group, Mayfair Residential and Park Lane Residential to offer fake properties in London, Bristol and Birmingham.
Coote was jailed for 28 months at Southwark Crown Court. Mr Rickard had been sentenced for 18 months imprisonment, while Kauser had been sentenced for the same period, suspended for 2 years.
Previously, Coote had been jailed for four years in August 2009 for similar scams in Manchester and Liverpool. His most potent scam was to take six months rent from the tenant, only for the ‘agent’ to disappear with their money.
Court News suggests that Coote used the profits from his deceit in order to buy an apartment with a £2,000 fridge, a chauffeur driven Range Rover and trips to fancy restaurants.
Fake letting agent put behind bars for deceit
Mr Warwick Tatford, prosecuting, said, ‘the defendants were able to secure access to the properties and keys and a number of prospective tenants would then be shown around the properties.’
Would-be tenants were told to give Coote and his associates deposits, to find that they had failed credit checks. The fraudsters than informed the tenants that their landlord was happy for them to move in, if they paid the first six weeks rent upfront.
Tatford continued by saying, ‘prospective tenants were provided with access keys of the properties and when they attended to move into the property they would find there was already a tenant in place who had also signed a tenancy with the company.’
The fraudsters made a total of £26,585 from their deceit, which is likely to be recouped in compensation and confiscation proceedings.