Rogue trader ordered to pay back £145,000
A rogue trader has been ordered to pay back £145,000 today having been convicted of overcharging vulnerable people for house repair work.
Albert Brazil, 58, of Amberley Close, Botley, was made subject to a confiscation order at Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday, August 19.
Brazil pleaded had guilty to three counts of fraud and two counts of money laundering on July 13, 2015, and was sentenced to a total of two years’ imprisonment.
In each case, Brazil approached elderly and vulnerable people in Fareham, Gosport and Liphook in 2014 and claimed they needed work done to their homes.
He overcharged them for the work done, which was later found to be of low quality.
Officers from Hampshire Constabulary’s Financial Investigation Unit worked on the case and looked at the amounts Brazil was paid, as well as others that were found in his bank accounts.
On Friday, Mr Recorder Clarkson QC made Brazil subject to a confiscation order totalling £145,000.
This included £8,561.50 to the victim of the Fareham fraud, a man in his 90s, £11,667.50 to the victim of the Liphook fraud, a woman in her 70s, and £458.50 to the victim of the Gosport fraud, a man in his 80s.
The rest of the total was made up of money found in Brazil’s bank accounts for which he could not provide an explanation.
Speaking after the hearing, Detective Constable Scott Lymbery, of Hampshire Constabulary’s Financial Investigation Unit, said: “I am happy that the victims in this case, who were vastly overcharged by Brazil, will get back their money.
“These orders were secured using the Proceeds of Crime Act. The power of this legislation has been used to claw back money from a man who targeted the elderly and vulnerable for his own financial gain.
“We will continue to use these powers to make sure convicted criminals have to literally pay for their actions.”
Tackling rogue traders
Hampshire Constabulary has supported Operation Rogue Trader this year, by reinforcing the protection we give to vulnerable residents and disrupting the activities of doorstep criminals.
This work is led by Operation Liberal, the national intelligence unit that links associated crimes and gathers intelligence on suspects and organised crime groups who travel extensively throughout the UK.
Our key advice to members of the public:
- Lock: All doors, even when at home. Use a chain or spy hole
- Stop: Unknown people from entering your home
- Tell: Police about unwanted or suspicious callers, phone us on 101.
And remember if you’re not sure, just don’t open the door.
- If you feel threatened, call 999
- Deaf? Mini-com call users call 18001 101 or send a text to 07781 480999
- Want to stay anonymous? Call the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.
Further information and crime prevention advice on doorstep crime can be found here: http://www.hampshire.police.uk/internet/news-and-appeals/campaigns/Doorstep_crime