Saturday, 9 December 2017

Rogue Trader Preyed On Pensioner Duped Into Leaving Him £540K House In Will

A rogue trader, who persuaded a pensioner to pay him £14,000 for non-existent roof repairs then bequeath the property to an accomplice, has been locked-up.

Robert Vincent, 47, of Sandpiper Way, Orpington received five years and three months for the audacious scam.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation when he appeared at Wood Green Crown Court.

The 68 year-old victim instructed a solicitor to draw up the new will, leaving the £540,000 house to a man Vincent knew because he could not pay for the overcharged work.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police's Fraud and Linked Crime Online (Falcon) Unit began an investigation in June, 2017 after a report from Bromley Trading Standards.

Officers visited the victim’s address in Haringey and discovered that, near to Christmas 2016, he had been approached by a man calling himself Terry Griffiths, who had told him his roof needed to be replaced.

A police investigation revealed that Terry Griffiths was in fact Robert Vincent, who told the victim work was needed on the entire roof to fix a leak.

The victim handed over cash and cheques totalling £14,000 to Vincent in a two-month period after Christmas.

In March, he told him that he could not afford to pay for the repairs.

Vincent suggested he could leave his house to him in his will to cover the cost.

The victim reluctantly agreed to do this and visited a solicitor who drafted a new will for him naming Terry Griffiths as the sole receiver.

However, Vincent then asked the victim to change the name to someone who police believe was one of his associates.

On Monday, 5 June, the victim received a phone call from Bromley Trading Standards in relation to another building scam that he had almost been the victim of in June 2016.

Whilst on the phone, he mentioned that he was having building work done and the Trading Standards Officer told him she would send someone round to ensure everything was in order.

When the officer attended the address, he found that no work appeared to have been carried out.

Trading Standards then informed police.

Vincent was arrested on Wednesday, 7 June after he was seen exiting the victim’s property.

In his phone, he had the victim’s telephone number.

The man who had been named on the will was interviewed by police but he denied any knowledge of the fraud and said he did not know Vincent.

Detective Constable Alex Falconer, of the Met’s Falcon unit, said: “This was a deceitful crime in which Vincent tricked an elderly man into changing his will after charging him fourteen thousand pounds for non-existent repairs to his roof.

“A swift police investigation established that Vincent had been using a pseudonym in his dealings with the victim and provided a name of his suspected associate.

“As a result of this conviction the fraudulent will has been destroyed.”

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