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Roofless! Fraudsters who fleeced pensioners out of £750K jailed for 18 years!

Fraudsters who fleeced pensioners out of £750,000.00 jailed for 18 years!

  • Victims of roofing scam bullied into paying huge sums of money for works that never took place or were carried out to poor standards
  • Some left with no roof over their heads when they refused to pay
  • Rogue roofers transferred money to international bank accounts to evade law
  • All four jailed for fraud and money laundering

Four defendants who took part in a London-wide roofing scam to defraud pensioners out of three quarters of a million pounds will spend a total of 18 years in prison. A major Brent and Harrow Trading Standards investigation found the four working for Randhwana Roofing Ltd – which also targeted Harrow residents. They cold called and bullied their victims to pay huge sums of money for unnecessary roofing work that was either not carried out or done to a poor standard.

The company owned by Harprett Singh Randhawa came under the watch of Trading Standards in 2017 where two Harrow homeowners, aged 84 and 86, were conned to make payments totalling £350,000. Officers discovered more victims in Enfield, Haringey and Bromley – who faced the same fate. Some were even left with no roof when they refused demands to pay more money.

The investigation supported by the National Trading Standards eCrime team also discovered an international money laundering operation where their victim’s money was transferred out of the UK to Dubai, China and Singapore.

Cllr Varsha Parmar Harrow Council’s cabinet member for environment said:

“These heartless criminals preyed on vulnerable people, bullied them to hand over their life’s savings and left them with a shoddy roof - or even nothing at all. I cannot imagine the stress and nightmare their despicable actions caused.

“Thanks to the hard work of our trading standards officers, we brought an end to their rogue practices and I hope victims feel a sense of relief that these crooks will be spending time behind bars.”

At Harrow Crown Court on Friday 11 October, Harpreet Singh Randhawa, Harvinder Singh Arora, Mahmoddun Nobi Siddique, and Vytautas Glinshas were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. In total they were sentenced 18 years in prison. Siddique, Glinskas and Randwala were also banned from owning a business for 8 years.

Simon Legg, Head of Brent and Harrow Trading Standards said:

“This was a sophisticated criminal operation that they were running and it is our job to defend residents from unscrupulous and exploitative rogue traders. Their behaviour was motivated by greed, they had no interest in completing the works or cared about the immense stress they caused their victims and families. Cases like this emphasise the importance of not agreeing work with trades people who cold call and to  do your research before commencing any work”

The court heard how a further £400,000 was sent to one of the company accounts in January 2018, was in fact payment for a fictitious scam investment bond, leaving a 92-year-old without his life savings, intended to pay for his wife’s care. They also heard how Siddique used his banking experience to transfer money out of the UK.

Mobile phones, laptops and diaries recovered from raids provided crucial evidence of the offences along with prosecution witnesses which included building surveyors and a forensic accountant.

Lord Toby Harris, Chair, National Trading Standards, said:

“These criminals deliberately preyed on vulnerable consumers to fund their web of organised crimes – in some cases leaving victims without their life savings – and I hope these sentences bring some sense of justice to the victims involved.

“What began as an investigation into local doorstep crime quickly became a more expansive joint initiative between local and national trading standards officers to tackle an international money laundering operation. This was a unique case that demonstrates the effectiveness and contribution of trading standards officers in tackling fraud and organised crime and I would like to thank and congratulate the investigative teams involved for securing these sentences.”

Between September 2017 and March 2018, a total of £870,000 was taken from the six victims with £150,000 eventually being recovered by the banks.

Multiple dawn raids were executed across England and Wales during May 2018, leading to the arrest of two of the defendants Mr Randhawa and Mr Arora on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. A further suspect, Mr Glinskas, was in Lithuania at the time and later interviewed.

Further warrants were executed in London in September 2018 and a fourth defendant Mr Siddique was interviewed for his role in the transfer of large sums of the money via various company bank accounts.

Sentencing followed unanimous guilty verdicts after a 6-week trial at Harrow Crown Court.

 

Notes:

Harpreet Singh Randhawa, aged 44, from Hillingdon was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and sentenced to 5 years for his involvement in roofing scams at five of the victim’s homes.

Harinder Singh Arora, aged 44, from Hillingdon was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud for his involvement in roofing scams at two of the victim’s addresses, for which he received £51,000. Mr Arora was sentenced to 2.5 years.

Mahmoddun Nobi Siddique, aged 42, from Ilford was found guilty of possessing and transferring more than £500,000 received from three of the victims. He was sentenced to 6 years

Vytautas Glinskas, aged 33, from Romford, was found guilty of the same offending as Mr Siddique. He was sentenced to 4.5 years

Published: October 11th 2019