Con man jailed after tricking landlords with fake licensing scam
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing, Legal
FraudImage: Fraud via Shutterstock
A con man who duped private sector landlords by pretending to be conducting safety checks for Newham Council has been jailed for two and a half years.
Matthew Monsey approached property owners who had expressed interest in joining the council’s approved landlords scheme.
Inner London Crown Court heard how in August and September 2010, Monsey, 29, told three landlords that he was employed by the council to conduct safety checks before issuing safety certificates that their rental properties needed before being allowed to accommodate homeless families.
The crook charged for the energy performance, gas and electricity safety certificates and the building work he said was necessary to receive them.
Following complaints by landlords who were not convinced the recommended work was required, an investigation was carried out by the council’s trading standards and internal audit teams, resulting in Monsey being convicted of three charges under the Fraud Act 2006 of making false representations with intent to gain. He denied the charges claiming he had not represented himself as a council employee.
Sentencing Monsey, Judge Usha Karu described his actions as a “calculated fraud” that had caused the “erosion of public confidence in the local authority”.
Councillor Andrew Baikie, executive member for housing and customer services, said: “We do not tolerate fraud under any circumstances, but especially when it is committed in the name of the council and erodes public confidence in the good work we do. We will have no hesitation in prosecuting those we suspect of doing so.”