10:46 AM, 11th July 2016, About 5 years ago 8
I had a very interesting conversation this morning with Alan Harris of the Local Government Association.
This week is National Scam Awareness Week where 370 local Councils are uniting to expose fraudulent practices. I explained that Property118 Action Group is bringing a particularly large (multi-million pound) private criminal prosecution to Court next month via Mark Smith, Head of Chambers at Cotswold Barristers. The case involves a letting agent who failed to protect tenants deposits and used further client money due to landlords to fund his failing business whilst paying himself a huge salary, bonuses and expenses. If he is found guilty by Jury of charges of his charges, fraud by abuse of position, he faces up to 14 years in prison and confiscation of personal assets to pay compensation to victims.
Property118 reported on a similar case last month where the agent was jailed for over four years – LINK
We are calling upon Letting Agents who recognise the benefits of ensuring that Justice is served to criminal operators who tarnish the reputation of our industry to form Strategic Alliances – please see https://www.property118.com/strategic-alliances/
There are many examples of landlords having been victims of fraud by abuse of position committed by their letting agent where Police and CPS have dropped cases due to lack of resource.
We have several cases ongoing where agents have used client money to pay themselves huge bonuses before putting their businesses into administration. As a result of the Police failing to get involved Property118 Action Group has been helping to raise the funding necessary to mount private criminal prosecutions on behalf of our members. Many of these are now coming to trial.
Property118 Action Group pay all initial costs associated with private criminal prosecutions where groups of 15 or more of our members have been victims of crimes perpetrated by the same business. The Crown picks up legal costs once Magistrates agree that a trial is in the interests of the public, regardless of whether the accused is found innocent or guilty.
For more details please see https://www.property118.com/fighting-for-landlords-letting-agents/88096/
— Mark Alexander (@iAmALandlord) July 11, 2016
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