Gang of rogue traders conned pensioners out of £1m

03/07/2014

A gang of rogue traders who conned Essex pensioners out of nearly £1million were sentenced to a total of nearly 30 years in jail at Chelmsford Crown Court today.

Naomi Turner, Senior Crown Prosecutor in the CPS East of England Complex Casework Unit said: "These men targeted elderly and vulnerable people conning them out of large sums of money for building and gardening work which was either unnecessary, not completed or substandard, or a combination of all three.

"This was a business operation where the main group worked together as an organised crime group specifically to scam the elderly.

"Many of the victims simply did not realise they were being conned and in fact thought that the gang were just being kind to them. 

"Two of the victims had in fact passed away before the case came to court but due to evidence gathered at an early stage of the investigation we were still able to prove that these victims had unnecessarily paid thousands of pounds to these men."

Sentenced today were:

  • James Brown Snr, 45, admitted conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, conspiracy to convert criminal property, three counts of fraud, one relating to loans. He was sentenced to a total of 10 years' imprisonment.
  • William Brown, 49,  pleaded guilty to by false representation, conspiracy to convert criminal property and fraud. He was sentenced to a total of seven years.
  • James Brown Jnr, 21, admitted conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and being involved in money laundering. He was sentenced to a total of four years eight months.
  • Peter Biddle, 66,  admitted fraud against three victims and converting criminal property. He was sentenced to four years.
  • Van Purdy, 60,  admitted conspiracy to convert criminal property. He was sentenced to two years.
  • Anthony Symes, 59, admitted fraud against two victims and converting criminal property. He was sentenced to two years' imprisonment suspended for two years.