Former boss told to hand over assets

SHAME: Businessman Brandon Weston.

SHAME: Businessman Brandon Weston.

First published in News

DISGRACED Worcester businessman Brandon Weston is to hand over his remaining assets of £11,000 after a criminal compensation hearing.

The 43-year-old former owner of estate agent Premier Places, who once owned seven houses in the city and a house in France, has remaining available assets of £11,715, a court was told.

Chris Williams, aged 48, who admitted three counts of forgery in the same fraud, was ordered to pay £10,000.

Daniel White, acting on Weston’s behalf in the Proceeds of Crime Application hearing at Worcester Crown Court, said there were two bank accounts which had been used to handle the mortgage for his house in France and the prosecution had been given a schedule of any other funds. Weston was ready to sign waivers which would release money from all the accounts, which have already been restrained by the prosecution so he could not use them.

“Once he signs the waiver, they can have every penny that’s in them,” Mr White said.

Weston, who once had a stake in Worcester’s Glasshouse restaurant, which he later sold, was given six months to pay and faces six months in jail if he defaults.

Mr White said the total benefits of the criminal conduct – money that passed through but not accumulated – amounted to nearly £160,000.

An earlier hearing scheduled for September last year in Hereford did not take place because of difficulties selling the property in France, but it had now been sold.

He was unable to sell a Chrysler Voyager to raise more money because it had been repossessed, the court was told.

Weston, of White Ladies Aston, near Worcester, was sentenced to 12 months in jail, suspended for two years, in September 2011 after he admitted four counts of fraud between April 2007 and February 2009.

He used the money paid in for his 203 tenants as deposits to finance other businesses instead of ring-fencing it.

Benjamin Williams for the prosecution, told the hearing most of the tenants had been reimbursed through an insurance scheme run by the National Approved Lettings Scheme. But there were others who had not received any money and he suggested a “small amount” of compensation might be in order.

“Something is better than nothing,” he said Chris Williams, of Church Lane, Whittington, near Worcester, was given an eight-month jail term in September 2011, suspended for two years, with an order to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work after he admitted three counts of forgery between June 1, 2007, and February 28, 2008. He forged an accountant’s signature to allow the fraud to take place.

Judge Richard Rundell refused an application by the prosecution to adjourn the case of Williams. He agreed with Malcolm Morse, defending, that the case had already gone on for a considerable time and a further delay would not be in the interests of justice.

Williams,the court was told, had available assets of £15,888.

The judge ordered that he should pay £10,000 straight out of a bank account and he was given 28 days to pay or face six months in jail.

The money is to go to the insurance companies who paid out to reimburse the tenants.

Comments (25)

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10:39am Fri 1 Feb 13

CJH says...

Why is this man not in jail? Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?
Why is this man not in jail? Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery? CJH
  • Score: 0

12:16pm Fri 1 Feb 13

More Tea Vicar says...

CJH wrote:
Why is this man not in jail? Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?
Good point.

I actually think there is a case for much tougher penalties for white collar crime, in the private and public sector.
[quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: Why is this man not in jail? Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?[/p][/quote]Good point. I actually think there is a case for much tougher penalties for white collar crime, in the private and public sector. More Tea Vicar
  • Score: 0

3:01pm Fri 1 Feb 13

BasicAccounting says...

CJH wrote:
Why is this man not in jail? Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?
I agree they both should be. To compound matters, Weston's partner in crime, Mr Williams, still owns Premier Places although cleverly in his wife's name and therefore reducing Mr Williams' 'available assets' to compensate victims...seems very unfair.
[quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: Why is this man not in jail? Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?[/p][/quote]I agree they both should be. To compound matters, Weston's partner in crime, Mr Williams, still owns Premier Places although cleverly in his wife's name and therefore reducing Mr Williams' 'available assets' to compensate victims...seems very unfair. BasicAccounting
  • Score: 0

3:02pm Fri 1 Feb 13

worcesterway says...

This man isn't in jail because the judge, having weighed up all the evidence at his disposal decided that a custodial sentence didn't fit the crime committed. Simple as that...
This man isn't in jail because the judge, having weighed up all the evidence at his disposal decided that a custodial sentence didn't fit the crime committed. Simple as that... worcesterway
  • Score: 0

3:16pm Fri 1 Feb 13

CJH says...

worcesterway wrote:
This man isn't in jail because the judge, having weighed up all the evidence at his disposal decided that a custodial sentence didn't fit the crime committed. Simple as that...
That doesn't answer the question does it? Why not a custodial sentence?
[quote][p][bold]worcesterway[/bold] wrote: This man isn't in jail because the judge, having weighed up all the evidence at his disposal decided that a custodial sentence didn't fit the crime committed. Simple as that...[/p][/quote]That doesn't answer the question does it? Why not a custodial sentence? CJH
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Fri 1 Feb 13

worcesterway says...

It answers the question perfectly?! the judge has ALL the facts - what we have is the press version of the facts and the stuff they make up to pad out the story.. So as I say without the risk of repeating myself, the judge decided having the actual facts, that a custodial sentence wasn't appropriate..
It answers the question perfectly?! the judge has ALL the facts - what we have is the press version of the facts and the stuff they make up to pad out the story.. So as I say without the risk of repeating myself, the judge decided having the actual facts, that a custodial sentence wasn't appropriate.. worcesterway
  • Score: 0

3:44pm Fri 1 Feb 13

CJH says...

worcesterway wrote:
It answers the question perfectly?! the judge has ALL the facts - what we have is the press version of the facts and the stuff they make up to pad out the story.. So as I say without the risk of repeating myself, the judge decided having the actual facts, that a custodial sentence wasn't appropriate..
His crimes are documented in court so that is fact and in the public domain. What have the press made up regarding this story? Please enlighten us.
[quote][p][bold]worcesterway[/bold] wrote: It answers the question perfectly?! the judge has ALL the facts - what we have is the press version of the facts and the stuff they make up to pad out the story.. So as I say without the risk of repeating myself, the judge decided having the actual facts, that a custodial sentence wasn't appropriate..[/p][/quote]His crimes are documented in court so that is fact and in the public domain. What have the press made up regarding this story? Please enlighten us. CJH
  • Score: 0

4:04pm Fri 1 Feb 13

worcesterway says...

Oh please CJH! Of course the press are whiter than white aren't they! Have you never heard of the phrase "why let the facts get in the way of a good story"?!! I've noticed at least one retraction and apology about getting the facts wrong on this story in WN, there may have been more that I didn't notice as it was buried on page 8! These two clearly did wrong and have been punished but the press are worse and don't even get me started on the bankers!
Oh please CJH! Of course the press are whiter than white aren't they! Have you never heard of the phrase "why let the facts get in the way of a good story"?!! I've noticed at least one retraction and apology about getting the facts wrong on this story in WN, there may have been more that I didn't notice as it was buried on page 8! These two clearly did wrong and have been punished but the press are worse and don't even get me started on the bankers! worcesterway
  • Score: 0

4:20pm Fri 1 Feb 13

CJH says...

I didn't say that the press never do it. I asked what in particular you think they've made up in relation to these two men. Please don't change what I have said to suit your argument. You seem very agitated by this story, and to know that a retraction was on page 8 (a strange detail to know) makes me think that you may have a personal interest in this. If so, perhaps you should declare it and then we'll all know where we stand. And I would refer you back to my original question "Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?”
I didn't say that the press never do it. I asked what in particular you think they've made up in relation to these two men. Please don't change what I have said to suit your argument. You seem very agitated by this story, and to know that a retraction was on page 8 (a strange detail to know) makes me think that you may have a personal interest in this. If so, perhaps you should declare it and then we'll all know where we stand. And I would refer you back to my original question "Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?” CJH
  • Score: 0

4:21pm Fri 1 Feb 13

BrianCC says...

More Tea Vicar wrote:
CJH wrote:
Why is this man not in jail? Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?
Good point.

I actually think there is a case for much tougher penalties for white collar crime, in the private and public sector.
Actually the penalties for white collar crime are much more severe since the sentencing guidelines changed in 2009 prior to this prosecution. For the amount of money involved the judge could have easily passed down a custodial sentence of 2-5 years. The fact he didn't suggests that there were mitigating circumstances (which indeed probably weren't published in the press) which he felt balanced in the defendants favour meaning with all things considered a custodial sentence was not an appropriate punishment..
[quote][p][bold]More Tea Vicar[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: Why is this man not in jail? Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?[/p][/quote]Good point. I actually think there is a case for much tougher penalties for white collar crime, in the private and public sector.[/p][/quote]Actually the penalties for white collar crime are much more severe since the sentencing guidelines changed in 2009 prior to this prosecution. For the amount of money involved the judge could have easily passed down a custodial sentence of 2-5 years. The fact he didn't suggests that there were mitigating circumstances (which indeed probably weren't published in the press) which he felt balanced in the defendants favour meaning with all things considered a custodial sentence was not an appropriate punishment.. BrianCC
  • Score: 0

4:51pm Fri 1 Feb 13

mummyticklemonster says...

It seems to run in their family.
It seems to run in their family. mummyticklemonster
  • Score: 0

5:05pm Fri 1 Feb 13

worcesterway says...

CJH wrote:
I didn't say that the press never do it. I asked what in particular you think they've made up in relation to these two men. Please don't change what I have said to suit your argument. You seem very agitated by this story, and to know that a retraction was on page 8 (a strange detail to know) makes me think that you may have a personal interest in this. If so, perhaps you should declare it and then we'll all know where we stand. And I would refer you back to my original question "Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?”
No Personal interest CJH and it's you that is agitating me not the story. My page 8 comment was clearly tongue in cheek (not that I would expect you to get that) I don't actually know which page it was on, my point was retractions are always buried rather than prominent like the original factually incorrect stories. You seem to be defending the press quite strongly so perhaps you're the reporter! I would have thought the very fact WN printed a retraction about this story suggests that they do and have got their facts wrong in the past...
[quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: I didn't say that the press never do it. I asked what in particular you think they've made up in relation to these two men. Please don't change what I have said to suit your argument. You seem very agitated by this story, and to know that a retraction was on page 8 (a strange detail to know) makes me think that you may have a personal interest in this. If so, perhaps you should declare it and then we'll all know where we stand. And I would refer you back to my original question "Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?”[/p][/quote]No Personal interest CJH and it's you that is agitating me not the story. My page 8 comment was clearly tongue in cheek (not that I would expect you to get that) I don't actually know which page it was on, my point was retractions are always buried rather than prominent like the original factually incorrect stories. You seem to be defending the press quite strongly so perhaps you're the reporter! I would have thought the very fact WN printed a retraction about this story suggests that they do and have got their facts wrong in the past... worcesterway
  • Score: 0

5:19pm Fri 1 Feb 13

CJH says...

worcesterway wrote:
CJH wrote: I didn't say that the press never do it. I asked what in particular you think they've made up in relation to these two men. Please don't change what I have said to suit your argument. You seem very agitated by this story, and to know that a retraction was on page 8 (a strange detail to know) makes me think that you may have a personal interest in this. If so, perhaps you should declare it and then we'll all know where we stand. And I would refer you back to my original question "Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?”
No Personal interest CJH and it's you that is agitating me not the story. My page 8 comment was clearly tongue in cheek (not that I would expect you to get that) I don't actually know which page it was on, my point was retractions are always buried rather than prominent like the original factually incorrect stories. You seem to be defending the press quite strongly so perhaps you're the reporter! I would have thought the very fact WN printed a retraction about this story suggests that they do and have got their facts wrong in the past...
You're new here aren't you? Must be, or you'd know that I am absolutely not a reporter, and am critical of the press when necessary! However, you're still avoiding my original question about white collar crime, but no matter.
.
Anyway, no need to get so het up. You'll be amused to know that I've just broken a tooth eating Weetabix and my dentist is shut for the weekend. :-(
[quote][p][bold]worcesterway[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: I didn't say that the press never do it. I asked what in particular you think they've made up in relation to these two men. Please don't change what I have said to suit your argument. You seem very agitated by this story, and to know that a retraction was on page 8 (a strange detail to know) makes me think that you may have a personal interest in this. If so, perhaps you should declare it and then we'll all know where we stand. And I would refer you back to my original question "Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?”[/p][/quote]No Personal interest CJH and it's you that is agitating me not the story. My page 8 comment was clearly tongue in cheek (not that I would expect you to get that) I don't actually know which page it was on, my point was retractions are always buried rather than prominent like the original factually incorrect stories. You seem to be defending the press quite strongly so perhaps you're the reporter! I would have thought the very fact WN printed a retraction about this story suggests that they do and have got their facts wrong in the past...[/p][/quote]You're new here aren't you? Must be, or you'd know that I am absolutely not a reporter, and am critical of the press when necessary! However, you're still avoiding my original question about white collar crime, but no matter. . Anyway, no need to get so het up. You'll be amused to know that I've just broken a tooth eating Weetabix and my dentist is shut for the weekend. :-( CJH
  • Score: 0

5:30pm Fri 1 Feb 13

brooksider says...

Can't understand why both weren't given directorship bans.

I thought Chris Williams sold his company Worcester Tiles a couple of years ago, I wonder what happened to the money?
Can't understand why both weren't given directorship bans. I thought Chris Williams sold his company Worcester Tiles a couple of years ago, I wonder what happened to the money? brooksider
  • Score: 0

8:11pm Fri 1 Feb 13

worcesterway says...

CJH wrote:
worcesterway wrote:
CJH wrote: I didn't say that the press never do it. I asked what in particular you think they've made up in relation to these two men. Please don't change what I have said to suit your argument. You seem very agitated by this story, and to know that a retraction was on page 8 (a strange detail to know) makes me think that you may have a personal interest in this. If so, perhaps you should declare it and then we'll all know where we stand. And I would refer you back to my original question "Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?”
No Personal interest CJH and it's you that is agitating me not the story. My page 8 comment was clearly tongue in cheek (not that I would expect you to get that) I don't actually know which page it was on, my point was retractions are always buried rather than prominent like the original factually incorrect stories. You seem to be defending the press quite strongly so perhaps you're the reporter! I would have thought the very fact WN printed a retraction about this story suggests that they do and have got their facts wrong in the past...
You're new here aren't you? Must be, or you'd know that I am absolutely not a reporter, and am critical of the press when necessary! However, you're still avoiding my original question about white collar crime, but no matter.
.
Anyway, no need to get so het up. You'll be amused to know that I've just broken a tooth eating Weetabix and my dentist is shut for the weekend. :-(
My sympathies CJH. Going to the dentist is bad enough without being in pain all weekend with the added expectation of a visit to the dentist to deal with! Perhaps try some milk with your weetabix? Makes them softer!
[quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]worcesterway[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: I didn't say that the press never do it. I asked what in particular you think they've made up in relation to these two men. Please don't change what I have said to suit your argument. You seem very agitated by this story, and to know that a retraction was on page 8 (a strange detail to know) makes me think that you may have a personal interest in this. If so, perhaps you should declare it and then we'll all know where we stand. And I would refer you back to my original question "Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?”[/p][/quote]No Personal interest CJH and it's you that is agitating me not the story. My page 8 comment was clearly tongue in cheek (not that I would expect you to get that) I don't actually know which page it was on, my point was retractions are always buried rather than prominent like the original factually incorrect stories. You seem to be defending the press quite strongly so perhaps you're the reporter! I would have thought the very fact WN printed a retraction about this story suggests that they do and have got their facts wrong in the past...[/p][/quote]You're new here aren't you? Must be, or you'd know that I am absolutely not a reporter, and am critical of the press when necessary! However, you're still avoiding my original question about white collar crime, but no matter. . Anyway, no need to get so het up. You'll be amused to know that I've just broken a tooth eating Weetabix and my dentist is shut for the weekend. :-([/p][/quote]My sympathies CJH. Going to the dentist is bad enough without being in pain all weekend with the added expectation of a visit to the dentist to deal with! Perhaps try some milk with your weetabix? Makes them softer! worcesterway
  • Score: 0

8:15pm Fri 1 Feb 13

CJH says...

worcesterway wrote:
CJH wrote:
worcesterway wrote:
CJH wrote: I didn't say that the press never do it. I asked what in particular you think they've made up in relation to these two men. Please don't change what I have said to suit your argument. You seem very agitated by this story, and to know that a retraction was on page 8 (a strange detail to know) makes me think that you may have a personal interest in this. If so, perhaps you should declare it and then we'll all know where we stand. And I would refer you back to my original question "Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?”
No Personal interest CJH and it's you that is agitating me not the story. My page 8 comment was clearly tongue in cheek (not that I would expect you to get that) I don't actually know which page it was on, my point was retractions are always buried rather than prominent like the original factually incorrect stories. You seem to be defending the press quite strongly so perhaps you're the reporter! I would have thought the very fact WN printed a retraction about this story suggests that they do and have got their facts wrong in the past...
You're new here aren't you? Must be, or you'd know that I am absolutely not a reporter, and am critical of the press when necessary! However, you're still avoiding my original question about white collar crime, but no matter. . Anyway, no need to get so het up. You'll be amused to know that I've just broken a tooth eating Weetabix and my dentist is shut for the weekend. :-(
My sympathies CJH. Going to the dentist is bad enough without being in pain all weekend with the added expectation of a visit to the dentist to deal with! Perhaps try some milk with your weetabix? Makes them softer!
Am treating it with Southern Comfort...
[quote][p][bold]worcesterway[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]worcesterway[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: I didn't say that the press never do it. I asked what in particular you think they've made up in relation to these two men. Please don't change what I have said to suit your argument. You seem very agitated by this story, and to know that a retraction was on page 8 (a strange detail to know) makes me think that you may have a personal interest in this. If so, perhaps you should declare it and then we'll all know where we stand. And I would refer you back to my original question "Why is 'white collar' crime where money is stolen not treated the same as robbery?”[/p][/quote]No Personal interest CJH and it's you that is agitating me not the story. My page 8 comment was clearly tongue in cheek (not that I would expect you to get that) I don't actually know which page it was on, my point was retractions are always buried rather than prominent like the original factually incorrect stories. You seem to be defending the press quite strongly so perhaps you're the reporter! I would have thought the very fact WN printed a retraction about this story suggests that they do and have got their facts wrong in the past...[/p][/quote]You're new here aren't you? Must be, or you'd know that I am absolutely not a reporter, and am critical of the press when necessary! However, you're still avoiding my original question about white collar crime, but no matter. . Anyway, no need to get so het up. You'll be amused to know that I've just broken a tooth eating Weetabix and my dentist is shut for the weekend. :-([/p][/quote]My sympathies CJH. Going to the dentist is bad enough without being in pain all weekend with the added expectation of a visit to the dentist to deal with! Perhaps try some milk with your weetabix? Makes them softer![/p][/quote]Am treating it with Southern Comfort... CJH
  • Score: 0

12:14am Sat 2 Feb 13

BrianCC says...

brooksider wrote:
Can't understand why both weren't given directorship bans.

I thought Chris Williams sold his company Worcester Tiles a couple of years ago, I wonder what happened to the money?
I feel I need to make comment to add some balance to comments already made regarding this story. It seems some people making comments have ulterior motives and clearly know the people involved which adds a bias to their arguments either in a negative or positive way. I don't know the people involved however I do have a legal background and have done a little research about this case.

It seems to me that due to Brandon Weston’s previous high profile within the business community, the story has been sensationalised and probably blown out of proportion by the local press. Let’s look at the facts that we know bearing in mind both men pleaded guilty so there was no trial where far more information would have been available.

Firstly both men were not sent to prison for the crimes they committed. Secondly neither were given banning orders against holding future company directorships despite the CPS requesting this. Thirdly, Mr Weston was found to benefit around £160,000 from the crimes he committed (which seems to be the amount of missing tenant deposit money which the insurance company had to pay out to cover) Mr Williams was found to benefit around £15,000 from fees he gained from the business relationship with Mr Weston.

If what they did was that bad the judge would have sent them to prison. For the amount of money involved the sentencing guidelines suggest between 2-5 years imprisonment however the judge then takes mitigating circumstances into account allowing him to reduce this. He would have also definitely granted the banning order. The banning order is interesting because in considering a banning order, the judge needs to decide whether there is a future risk to the public by allowing the individuals to continue to or run companies in the future. Clearly he did not feel there was a risk involved which again leads me to believe that there were many mitigating circumstances in favour of the defendants.

It seems to have been agreed that the companies were set up as legitimate companies with no intention to commit fraud. Somewhere down the line (probably around the time of the economy downturn) monies were used that did not belong to the companies for whatever reason however probably to help the companies through that period of financial difficulty. There is evidence to suggest that this position was put right however something went wrong with a deal to sell part of the business when the authorities became involved which lead to a shortfall in the tenants deposits which then couldn't be put right.

So I would suggest that the reason they did not go to prison or get banning orders is that the judge felt they did everything they could to rectify the position and did not intend to set out to commit fraud. It also seems no individuals lost money as any missing deposit monies were insured so it was only the insurance company that lost out who clearly make a commercial decision when offering the policy.

I know this doesn't make for a very good story however from what I can see it is factually correct.
[quote][p][bold]brooksider[/bold] wrote: Can't understand why both weren't given directorship bans. I thought Chris Williams sold his company Worcester Tiles a couple of years ago, I wonder what happened to the money?[/p][/quote]I feel I need to make comment to add some balance to comments already made regarding this story. It seems some people making comments have ulterior motives and clearly know the people involved which adds a bias to their arguments either in a negative or positive way. I don't know the people involved however I do have a legal background and have done a little research about this case. It seems to me that due to Brandon Weston’s previous high profile within the business community, the story has been sensationalised and probably blown out of proportion by the local press. Let’s look at the facts that we know bearing in mind both men pleaded guilty so there was no trial where far more information would have been available. Firstly both men were not sent to prison for the crimes they committed. Secondly neither were given banning orders against holding future company directorships despite the CPS requesting this. Thirdly, Mr Weston was found to benefit around £160,000 from the crimes he committed (which seems to be the amount of missing tenant deposit money which the insurance company had to pay out to cover) Mr Williams was found to benefit around £15,000 from fees he gained from the business relationship with Mr Weston. If what they did was that bad the judge would have sent them to prison. For the amount of money involved the sentencing guidelines suggest between 2-5 years imprisonment however the judge then takes mitigating circumstances into account allowing him to reduce this. He would have also definitely granted the banning order. The banning order is interesting because in considering a banning order, the judge needs to decide whether there is a future risk to the public by allowing the individuals to continue to or run companies in the future. Clearly he did not feel there was a risk involved which again leads me to believe that there were many mitigating circumstances in favour of the defendants. It seems to have been agreed that the companies were set up as legitimate companies with no intention to commit fraud. Somewhere down the line (probably around the time of the economy downturn) monies were used that did not belong to the companies for whatever reason however probably to help the companies through that period of financial difficulty. There is evidence to suggest that this position was put right however something went wrong with a deal to sell part of the business when the authorities became involved which lead to a shortfall in the tenants deposits which then couldn't be put right. So I would suggest that the reason they did not go to prison or get banning orders is that the judge felt they did everything they could to rectify the position and did not intend to set out to commit fraud. It also seems no individuals lost money as any missing deposit monies were insured so it was only the insurance company that lost out who clearly make a commercial decision when offering the policy. I know this doesn't make for a very good story however from what I can see it is factually correct. BrianCC
  • Score: 0

12:07pm Sat 2 Feb 13

brooksider says...

BrianCC wrote:
brooksider wrote:
Can't understand why both weren't given directorship bans.

I thought Chris Williams sold his company Worcester Tiles a couple of years ago, I wonder what happened to the money?
I feel I need to make comment to add some balance to comments already made regarding this story. It seems some people making comments have ulterior motives and clearly know the people involved which adds a bias to their arguments either in a negative or positive way. I don't know the people involved however I do have a legal background and have done a little research about this case.

It seems to me that due to Brandon Weston’s previous high profile within the business community, the story has been sensationalised and probably blown out of proportion by the local press. Let’s look at the facts that we know bearing in mind both men pleaded guilty so there was no trial where far more information would have been available.

Firstly both men were not sent to prison for the crimes they committed. Secondly neither were given banning orders against holding future company directorships despite the CPS requesting this. Thirdly, Mr Weston was found to benefit around £160,000 from the crimes he committed (which seems to be the amount of missing tenant deposit money which the insurance company had to pay out to cover) Mr Williams was found to benefit around £15,000 from fees he gained from the business relationship with Mr Weston.

If what they did was that bad the judge would have sent them to prison. For the amount of money involved the sentencing guidelines suggest between 2-5 years imprisonment however the judge then takes mitigating circumstances into account allowing him to reduce this. He would have also definitely granted the banning order. The banning order is interesting because in considering a banning order, the judge needs to decide whether there is a future risk to the public by allowing the individuals to continue to or run companies in the future. Clearly he did not feel there was a risk involved which again leads me to believe that there were many mitigating circumstances in favour of the defendants.

It seems to have been agreed that the companies were set up as legitimate companies with no intention to commit fraud. Somewhere down the line (probably around the time of the economy downturn) monies were used that did not belong to the companies for whatever reason however probably to help the companies through that period of financial difficulty. There is evidence to suggest that this position was put right however something went wrong with a deal to sell part of the business when the authorities became involved which lead to a shortfall in the tenants deposits which then couldn't be put right.

So I would suggest that the reason they did not go to prison or get banning orders is that the judge felt they did everything they could to rectify the position and did not intend to set out to commit fraud. It also seems no individuals lost money as any missing deposit monies were insured so it was only the insurance company that lost out who clearly make a commercial decision when offering the policy.

I know this doesn't make for a very good story however from what I can see it is factually correct.
A little more balance for you, taken from UPad.co.uk

A lettings agent who defrauded tenants to the tune of £137,660 has escaped a jail sentence. Brandon Weston of Premier Places Lettings located in Worcester and Redditch used tenancy deposits from 203 tenants to fund other business projects.

Weston pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud between 2007 and 2009. An accomplice, Chris Williams, pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery. Weston received a 12 month jail sentence for 2 years and 250 hours community service. Williams was sentenced to 8 months prison also suspended for two years with 150 hours community service. The Judge said of Weston, who is now bankrupt, that he had taken prompt action to rectify the loss and had shown genuine remorse.

Amounts ranging from £400 to £1000 were defrauded from tenants and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) paid out more than £63,000 to the victims. TDS Chief executive Steve Harriott, condemned the lenient sentences.

“Not only were their actions fraudulent, they served to undermine the excellent work of properly self-regulated agents,” Harriott said. “Criminals like this should go to jail, not have their sentences suspended. They have defrauded private individuals and brought disrepute to the private rented sector. The law requires deposits to be protected through authorised tenancy deposit schemes and this case highlights once again the need for regulation of the private rented sector and for the courts to take these frauds and the protection of consumers more seriously.”

DC Harrison said that whilst such cases were rare the police do take them seriously and also recognise that the loss of these deposits had caused significant hardship for tenants and also landlords who voluntarily refunded the lost deposits. “Our investigation found that Weston had not kept all clients’ tenancy deposits in a ring-fenced account as he should have done and was used in other business accounts,” said Harrison

“The net effect of Weston’s crimes is that hundreds of clients have lost amounts ranging from £400 to more than £1,000 in some instances. This also includes landlords who reimbursed tenants with their lost deposits when their tenancies ended.”
[quote][p][bold]BrianCC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]brooksider[/bold] wrote: Can't understand why both weren't given directorship bans. I thought Chris Williams sold his company Worcester Tiles a couple of years ago, I wonder what happened to the money?[/p][/quote]I feel I need to make comment to add some balance to comments already made regarding this story. It seems some people making comments have ulterior motives and clearly know the people involved which adds a bias to their arguments either in a negative or positive way. I don't know the people involved however I do have a legal background and have done a little research about this case. It seems to me that due to Brandon Weston’s previous high profile within the business community, the story has been sensationalised and probably blown out of proportion by the local press. Let’s look at the facts that we know bearing in mind both men pleaded guilty so there was no trial where far more information would have been available. Firstly both men were not sent to prison for the crimes they committed. Secondly neither were given banning orders against holding future company directorships despite the CPS requesting this. Thirdly, Mr Weston was found to benefit around £160,000 from the crimes he committed (which seems to be the amount of missing tenant deposit money which the insurance company had to pay out to cover) Mr Williams was found to benefit around £15,000 from fees he gained from the business relationship with Mr Weston. If what they did was that bad the judge would have sent them to prison. For the amount of money involved the sentencing guidelines suggest between 2-5 years imprisonment however the judge then takes mitigating circumstances into account allowing him to reduce this. He would have also definitely granted the banning order. The banning order is interesting because in considering a banning order, the judge needs to decide whether there is a future risk to the public by allowing the individuals to continue to or run companies in the future. Clearly he did not feel there was a risk involved which again leads me to believe that there were many mitigating circumstances in favour of the defendants. It seems to have been agreed that the companies were set up as legitimate companies with no intention to commit fraud. Somewhere down the line (probably around the time of the economy downturn) monies were used that did not belong to the companies for whatever reason however probably to help the companies through that period of financial difficulty. There is evidence to suggest that this position was put right however something went wrong with a deal to sell part of the business when the authorities became involved which lead to a shortfall in the tenants deposits which then couldn't be put right. So I would suggest that the reason they did not go to prison or get banning orders is that the judge felt they did everything they could to rectify the position and did not intend to set out to commit fraud. It also seems no individuals lost money as any missing deposit monies were insured so it was only the insurance company that lost out who clearly make a commercial decision when offering the policy. I know this doesn't make for a very good story however from what I can see it is factually correct.[/p][/quote]A little more balance for you, taken from UPad.co.uk A lettings agent who defrauded tenants to the tune of £137,660 has escaped a jail sentence. Brandon Weston of Premier Places Lettings located in Worcester and Redditch used tenancy deposits from 203 tenants to fund other business projects. Weston pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud between 2007 and 2009. An accomplice, Chris Williams, pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery. Weston received a 12 month jail sentence for 2 years and 250 hours community service. Williams was sentenced to 8 months prison also suspended for two years with 150 hours community service. The Judge said of Weston, who is now bankrupt, that he had taken prompt action to rectify the loss and had shown genuine remorse. Amounts ranging from £400 to £1000 were defrauded from tenants and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) paid out more than £63,000 to the victims. TDS Chief executive Steve Harriott, condemned the lenient sentences. “Not only were their actions fraudulent, they served to undermine the excellent work of properly self-regulated agents,” Harriott said. “Criminals like this should go to jail, not have their sentences suspended. They have defrauded private individuals and brought disrepute to the private rented sector. The law requires deposits to be protected through authorised tenancy deposit schemes and this case highlights once again the need for regulation of the private rented sector and for the courts to take these frauds and the protection of consumers more seriously.” DC Harrison said that whilst such cases were rare the police do take them seriously and also recognise that the loss of these deposits had caused significant hardship for tenants and also landlords who voluntarily refunded the lost deposits. “Our investigation found that Weston had not kept all clients’ tenancy deposits in a ring-fenced account as he should have done and was used in other business accounts,” said Harrison “The net effect of Weston’s crimes is that hundreds of clients have lost amounts ranging from £400 to more than £1,000 in some instances. This also includes landlords who reimbursed tenants with their lost deposits when their tenancies ended.” brooksider
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Sat 2 Feb 13

BrianCC says...

brooksider wrote:
BrianCC wrote:
brooksider wrote:
Can't understand why both weren't given directorship bans.

I thought Chris Williams sold his company Worcester Tiles a couple of years ago, I wonder what happened to the money?
I feel I need to make comment to add some balance to comments already made regarding this story. It seems some people making comments have ulterior motives and clearly know the people involved which adds a bias to their arguments either in a negative or positive way. I don't know the people involved however I do have a legal background and have done a little research about this case.

It seems to me that due to Brandon Weston’s previous high profile within the business community, the story has been sensationalised and probably blown out of proportion by the local press. Let’s look at the facts that we know bearing in mind both men pleaded guilty so there was no trial where far more information would have been available.

Firstly both men were not sent to prison for the crimes they committed. Secondly neither were given banning orders against holding future company directorships despite the CPS requesting this. Thirdly, Mr Weston was found to benefit around £160,000 from the crimes he committed (which seems to be the amount of missing tenant deposit money which the insurance company had to pay out to cover) Mr Williams was found to benefit around £15,000 from fees he gained from the business relationship with Mr Weston.

If what they did was that bad the judge would have sent them to prison. For the amount of money involved the sentencing guidelines suggest between 2-5 years imprisonment however the judge then takes mitigating circumstances into account allowing him to reduce this. He would have also definitely granted the banning order. The banning order is interesting because in considering a banning order, the judge needs to decide whether there is a future risk to the public by allowing the individuals to continue to or run companies in the future. Clearly he did not feel there was a risk involved which again leads me to believe that there were many mitigating circumstances in favour of the defendants.

It seems to have been agreed that the companies were set up as legitimate companies with no intention to commit fraud. Somewhere down the line (probably around the time of the economy downturn) monies were used that did not belong to the companies for whatever reason however probably to help the companies through that period of financial difficulty. There is evidence to suggest that this position was put right however something went wrong with a deal to sell part of the business when the authorities became involved which lead to a shortfall in the tenants deposits which then couldn't be put right.

So I would suggest that the reason they did not go to prison or get banning orders is that the judge felt they did everything they could to rectify the position and did not intend to set out to commit fraud. It also seems no individuals lost money as any missing deposit monies were insured so it was only the insurance company that lost out who clearly make a commercial decision when offering the policy.

I know this doesn't make for a very good story however from what I can see it is factually correct.
A little more balance for you, taken from UPad.co.uk

A lettings agent who defrauded tenants to the tune of £137,660 has escaped a jail sentence. Brandon Weston of Premier Places Lettings located in Worcester and Redditch used tenancy deposits from 203 tenants to fund other business projects.

Weston pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud between 2007 and 2009. An accomplice, Chris Williams, pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery. Weston received a 12 month jail sentence for 2 years and 250 hours community service. Williams was sentenced to 8 months prison also suspended for two years with 150 hours community service. The Judge said of Weston, who is now bankrupt, that he had taken prompt action to rectify the loss and had shown genuine remorse.

Amounts ranging from £400 to £1000 were defrauded from tenants and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) paid out more than £63,000 to the victims. TDS Chief executive Steve Harriott, condemned the lenient sentences.

“Not only were their actions fraudulent, they served to undermine the excellent work of properly self-regulated agents,” Harriott said. “Criminals like this should go to jail, not have their sentences suspended. They have defrauded private individuals and brought disrepute to the private rented sector. The law requires deposits to be protected through authorised tenancy deposit schemes and this case highlights once again the need for regulation of the private rented sector and for the courts to take these frauds and the protection of consumers more seriously.”

DC Harrison said that whilst such cases were rare the police do take them seriously and also recognise that the loss of these deposits had caused significant hardship for tenants and also landlords who voluntarily refunded the lost deposits. “Our investigation found that Weston had not kept all clients’ tenancy deposits in a ring-fenced account as he should have done and was used in other business accounts,” said Harrison

“The net effect of Weston’s crimes is that hundreds of clients have lost amounts ranging from £400 to more than £1,000 in some instances. This also includes landlords who reimbursed tenants with their lost deposits when their tenancies ended.”
Sorry I don't see your point? The information above was also published by WN in September 2011. The judge confirmed at the hearing on Thursday that all tenants had been reimbursed by the insurance company and that monies paid by Weston and Williams should go directly to the insurance company to mitigate their loss. This information is also printed above...
[quote][p][bold]brooksider[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BrianCC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]brooksider[/bold] wrote: Can't understand why both weren't given directorship bans. I thought Chris Williams sold his company Worcester Tiles a couple of years ago, I wonder what happened to the money?[/p][/quote]I feel I need to make comment to add some balance to comments already made regarding this story. It seems some people making comments have ulterior motives and clearly know the people involved which adds a bias to their arguments either in a negative or positive way. I don't know the people involved however I do have a legal background and have done a little research about this case. It seems to me that due to Brandon Weston’s previous high profile within the business community, the story has been sensationalised and probably blown out of proportion by the local press. Let’s look at the facts that we know bearing in mind both men pleaded guilty so there was no trial where far more information would have been available. Firstly both men were not sent to prison for the crimes they committed. Secondly neither were given banning orders against holding future company directorships despite the CPS requesting this. Thirdly, Mr Weston was found to benefit around £160,000 from the crimes he committed (which seems to be the amount of missing tenant deposit money which the insurance company had to pay out to cover) Mr Williams was found to benefit around £15,000 from fees he gained from the business relationship with Mr Weston. If what they did was that bad the judge would have sent them to prison. For the amount of money involved the sentencing guidelines suggest between 2-5 years imprisonment however the judge then takes mitigating circumstances into account allowing him to reduce this. He would have also definitely granted the banning order. The banning order is interesting because in considering a banning order, the judge needs to decide whether there is a future risk to the public by allowing the individuals to continue to or run companies in the future. Clearly he did not feel there was a risk involved which again leads me to believe that there were many mitigating circumstances in favour of the defendants. It seems to have been agreed that the companies were set up as legitimate companies with no intention to commit fraud. Somewhere down the line (probably around the time of the economy downturn) monies were used that did not belong to the companies for whatever reason however probably to help the companies through that period of financial difficulty. There is evidence to suggest that this position was put right however something went wrong with a deal to sell part of the business when the authorities became involved which lead to a shortfall in the tenants deposits which then couldn't be put right. So I would suggest that the reason they did not go to prison or get banning orders is that the judge felt they did everything they could to rectify the position and did not intend to set out to commit fraud. It also seems no individuals lost money as any missing deposit monies were insured so it was only the insurance company that lost out who clearly make a commercial decision when offering the policy. I know this doesn't make for a very good story however from what I can see it is factually correct.[/p][/quote]A little more balance for you, taken from UPad.co.uk A lettings agent who defrauded tenants to the tune of £137,660 has escaped a jail sentence. Brandon Weston of Premier Places Lettings located in Worcester and Redditch used tenancy deposits from 203 tenants to fund other business projects. Weston pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud between 2007 and 2009. An accomplice, Chris Williams, pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery. Weston received a 12 month jail sentence for 2 years and 250 hours community service. Williams was sentenced to 8 months prison also suspended for two years with 150 hours community service. The Judge said of Weston, who is now bankrupt, that he had taken prompt action to rectify the loss and had shown genuine remorse. Amounts ranging from £400 to £1000 were defrauded from tenants and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) paid out more than £63,000 to the victims. TDS Chief executive Steve Harriott, condemned the lenient sentences. “Not only were their actions fraudulent, they served to undermine the excellent work of properly self-regulated agents,” Harriott said. “Criminals like this should go to jail, not have their sentences suspended. They have defrauded private individuals and brought disrepute to the private rented sector. The law requires deposits to be protected through authorised tenancy deposit schemes and this case highlights once again the need for regulation of the private rented sector and for the courts to take these frauds and the protection of consumers more seriously.” DC Harrison said that whilst such cases were rare the police do take them seriously and also recognise that the loss of these deposits had caused significant hardship for tenants and also landlords who voluntarily refunded the lost deposits. “Our investigation found that Weston had not kept all clients’ tenancy deposits in a ring-fenced account as he should have done and was used in other business accounts,” said Harrison “The net effect of Weston’s crimes is that hundreds of clients have lost amounts ranging from £400 to more than £1,000 in some instances. This also includes landlords who reimbursed tenants with their lost deposits when their tenancies ended.”[/p][/quote]Sorry I don't see your point? The information above was also published by WN in September 2011. The judge confirmed at the hearing on Thursday that all tenants had been reimbursed by the insurance company and that monies paid by Weston and Williams should go directly to the insurance company to mitigate their loss. This information is also printed above... BrianCC
  • Score: 0

9:44pm Sat 2 Feb 13

Malvernrob says...

Wrong. All tenants have not been compensated. The Judge decided in his wisdom that it would be too much hassle to pay out over 100 small amounts so ordered it al to go to the insurance company! I'm sure they would have gone to prison if they weren't already full of our visitors from overseas, but then that's another story.
Wrong. All tenants have not been compensated. The Judge decided in his wisdom that it would be too much hassle to pay out over 100 small amounts so ordered it al to go to the insurance company! I'm sure they would have gone to prison if they weren't already full of our visitors from overseas, but then that's another story. Malvernrob
  • Score: 0

11:53pm Sat 2 Feb 13

brooksider says...

BrianCC wrote:
brooksider wrote:
BrianCC wrote:
brooksider wrote:
Can't understand why both weren't given directorship bans.

I thought Chris Williams sold his company Worcester Tiles a couple of years ago, I wonder what happened to the money?
I feel I need to make comment to add some balance to comments already made regarding this story. It seems some people making comments have ulterior motives and clearly know the people involved which adds a bias to their arguments either in a negative or positive way. I don't know the people involved however I do have a legal background and have done a little research about this case.

It seems to me that due to Brandon Weston’s previous high profile within the business community, the story has been sensationalised and probably blown out of proportion by the local press. Let’s look at the facts that we know bearing in mind both men pleaded guilty so there was no trial where far more information would have been available.

Firstly both men were not sent to prison for the crimes they committed. Secondly neither were given banning orders against holding future company directorships despite the CPS requesting this. Thirdly, Mr Weston was found to benefit around £160,000 from the crimes he committed (which seems to be the amount of missing tenant deposit money which the insurance company had to pay out to cover) Mr Williams was found to benefit around £15,000 from fees he gained from the business relationship with Mr Weston.

If what they did was that bad the judge would have sent them to prison. For the amount of money involved the sentencing guidelines suggest between 2-5 years imprisonment however the judge then takes mitigating circumstances into account allowing him to reduce this. He would have also definitely granted the banning order. The banning order is interesting because in considering a banning order, the judge needs to decide whether there is a future risk to the public by allowing the individuals to continue to or run companies in the future. Clearly he did not feel there was a risk involved which again leads me to believe that there were many mitigating circumstances in favour of the defendants.

It seems to have been agreed that the companies were set up as legitimate companies with no intention to commit fraud. Somewhere down the line (probably around the time of the economy downturn) monies were used that did not belong to the companies for whatever reason however probably to help the companies through that period of financial difficulty. There is evidence to suggest that this position was put right however something went wrong with a deal to sell part of the business when the authorities became involved which lead to a shortfall in the tenants deposits which then couldn't be put right.

So I would suggest that the reason they did not go to prison or get banning orders is that the judge felt they did everything they could to rectify the position and did not intend to set out to commit fraud. It also seems no individuals lost money as any missing deposit monies were insured so it was only the insurance company that lost out who clearly make a commercial decision when offering the policy.

I know this doesn't make for a very good story however from what I can see it is factually correct.
A little more balance for you, taken from UPad.co.uk

A lettings agent who defrauded tenants to the tune of £137,660 has escaped a jail sentence. Brandon Weston of Premier Places Lettings located in Worcester and Redditch used tenancy deposits from 203 tenants to fund other business projects.

Weston pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud between 2007 and 2009. An accomplice, Chris Williams, pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery. Weston received a 12 month jail sentence for 2 years and 250 hours community service. Williams was sentenced to 8 months prison also suspended for two years with 150 hours community service. The Judge said of Weston, who is now bankrupt, that he had taken prompt action to rectify the loss and had shown genuine remorse.

Amounts ranging from £400 to £1000 were defrauded from tenants and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) paid out more than £63,000 to the victims. TDS Chief executive Steve Harriott, condemned the lenient sentences.

“Not only were their actions fraudulent, they served to undermine the excellent work of properly self-regulated agents,” Harriott said. “Criminals like this should go to jail, not have their sentences suspended. They have defrauded private individuals and brought disrepute to the private rented sector. The law requires deposits to be protected through authorised tenancy deposit schemes and this case highlights once again the need for regulation of the private rented sector and for the courts to take these frauds and the protection of consumers more seriously.”

DC Harrison said that whilst such cases were rare the police do take them seriously and also recognise that the loss of these deposits had caused significant hardship for tenants and also landlords who voluntarily refunded the lost deposits. “Our investigation found that Weston had not kept all clients’ tenancy deposits in a ring-fenced account as he should have done and was used in other business accounts,” said Harrison

“The net effect of Weston’s crimes is that hundreds of clients have lost amounts ranging from £400 to more than £1,000 in some instances. This also includes landlords who reimbursed tenants with their lost deposits when their tenancies ended.”
Sorry I don't see your point? The information above was also published by WN in September 2011. The judge confirmed at the hearing on Thursday that all tenants had been reimbursed by the insurance company and that monies paid by Weston and Williams should go directly to the insurance company to mitigate their loss. This information is also printed above...
I wanted to highlight some flaws in your reasoning.

The fraud started before the recession and any downturn.

Brandon Weston used tenants money to finance a home in France, not to keep an ailing company going, indeed it seems Premier Places was such a viable business that his co-accused, Chris Williams, purchased it for over £400,000.

Tenants, Landlords and the non profit making TDS, may have been compensated for their financial loss, but the certainly have not received compensation for the financial hardship,distress and considerable inconvenience caused by these criminals.

As you say, you did little research, it shows.
[quote][p][bold]BrianCC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]brooksider[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BrianCC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]brooksider[/bold] wrote: Can't understand why both weren't given directorship bans. I thought Chris Williams sold his company Worcester Tiles a couple of years ago, I wonder what happened to the money?[/p][/quote]I feel I need to make comment to add some balance to comments already made regarding this story. It seems some people making comments have ulterior motives and clearly know the people involved which adds a bias to their arguments either in a negative or positive way. I don't know the people involved however I do have a legal background and have done a little research about this case. It seems to me that due to Brandon Weston’s previous high profile within the business community, the story has been sensationalised and probably blown out of proportion by the local press. Let’s look at the facts that we know bearing in mind both men pleaded guilty so there was no trial where far more information would have been available. Firstly both men were not sent to prison for the crimes they committed. Secondly neither were given banning orders against holding future company directorships despite the CPS requesting this. Thirdly, Mr Weston was found to benefit around £160,000 from the crimes he committed (which seems to be the amount of missing tenant deposit money which the insurance company had to pay out to cover) Mr Williams was found to benefit around £15,000 from fees he gained from the business relationship with Mr Weston. If what they did was that bad the judge would have sent them to prison. For the amount of money involved the sentencing guidelines suggest between 2-5 years imprisonment however the judge then takes mitigating circumstances into account allowing him to reduce this. He would have also definitely granted the banning order. The banning order is interesting because in considering a banning order, the judge needs to decide whether there is a future risk to the public by allowing the individuals to continue to or run companies in the future. Clearly he did not feel there was a risk involved which again leads me to believe that there were many mitigating circumstances in favour of the defendants. It seems to have been agreed that the companies were set up as legitimate companies with no intention to commit fraud. Somewhere down the line (probably around the time of the economy downturn) monies were used that did not belong to the companies for whatever reason however probably to help the companies through that period of financial difficulty. There is evidence to suggest that this position was put right however something went wrong with a deal to sell part of the business when the authorities became involved which lead to a shortfall in the tenants deposits which then couldn't be put right. So I would suggest that the reason they did not go to prison or get banning orders is that the judge felt they did everything they could to rectify the position and did not intend to set out to commit fraud. It also seems no individuals lost money as any missing deposit monies were insured so it was only the insurance company that lost out who clearly make a commercial decision when offering the policy. I know this doesn't make for a very good story however from what I can see it is factually correct.[/p][/quote]A little more balance for you, taken from UPad.co.uk A lettings agent who defrauded tenants to the tune of £137,660 has escaped a jail sentence. Brandon Weston of Premier Places Lettings located in Worcester and Redditch used tenancy deposits from 203 tenants to fund other business projects. Weston pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud between 2007 and 2009. An accomplice, Chris Williams, pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery. Weston received a 12 month jail sentence for 2 years and 250 hours community service. Williams was sentenced to 8 months prison also suspended for two years with 150 hours community service. The Judge said of Weston, who is now bankrupt, that he had taken prompt action to rectify the loss and had shown genuine remorse. Amounts ranging from £400 to £1000 were defrauded from tenants and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) paid out more than £63,000 to the victims. TDS Chief executive Steve Harriott, condemned the lenient sentences. “Not only were their actions fraudulent, they served to undermine the excellent work of properly self-regulated agents,” Harriott said. “Criminals like this should go to jail, not have their sentences suspended. They have defrauded private individuals and brought disrepute to the private rented sector. The law requires deposits to be protected through authorised tenancy deposit schemes and this case highlights once again the need for regulation of the private rented sector and for the courts to take these frauds and the protection of consumers more seriously.” DC Harrison said that whilst such cases were rare the police do take them seriously and also recognise that the loss of these deposits had caused significant hardship for tenants and also landlords who voluntarily refunded the lost deposits. “Our investigation found that Weston had not kept all clients’ tenancy deposits in a ring-fenced account as he should have done and was used in other business accounts,” said Harrison “The net effect of Weston’s crimes is that hundreds of clients have lost amounts ranging from £400 to more than £1,000 in some instances. This also includes landlords who reimbursed tenants with their lost deposits when their tenancies ended.”[/p][/quote]Sorry I don't see your point? The information above was also published by WN in September 2011. The judge confirmed at the hearing on Thursday that all tenants had been reimbursed by the insurance company and that monies paid by Weston and Williams should go directly to the insurance company to mitigate their loss. This information is also printed above...[/p][/quote]I wanted to highlight some flaws in your reasoning. The fraud started before the recession and any downturn. Brandon Weston used tenants money to finance a home in France, not to keep an ailing company going, indeed it seems Premier Places was such a viable business that his co-accused, Chris Williams, purchased it for over £400,000. Tenants, Landlords and the non profit making TDS, may have been compensated for their financial loss, but the certainly have not received compensation for the financial hardship,distress and considerable inconvenience caused by these criminals. As you say, you did little research, it shows. brooksider
  • Score: 0

12:38pm Sun 3 Feb 13

BrianCC says...

As I say I only have information available in the public domain where as clearly you have inside information which can not be substantiated. Obviously you are one of those people making comments that knows the individuals involved and has a axe to grind..
As I say I only have information available in the public domain where as clearly you have inside information which can not be substantiated. Obviously you are one of those people making comments that knows the individuals involved and has a axe to grind.. BrianCC
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Sun 3 Feb 13

brooksider says...

BrianCC wrote:
As I say I only have information available in the public domain where as clearly you have inside information which can not be substantiated. Obviously you are one of those people making comments that knows the individuals involved and has a axe to grind..
Wrong, I do not, and do not wish to, know the individuals but I do know someone who was one of their victims.

Any information I have is in the public domain also.
[quote][p][bold]BrianCC[/bold] wrote: As I say I only have information available in the public domain where as clearly you have inside information which can not be substantiated. Obviously you are one of those people making comments that knows the individuals involved and has a axe to grind..[/p][/quote]Wrong, I do not, and do not wish to, know the individuals but I do know someone who was one of their victims. Any information I have is in the public domain also. brooksider
  • Score: 0

12:48am Mon 4 Feb 13

BrianCC says...

brooksider wrote:
BrianCC wrote:
As I say I only have information available in the public domain where as clearly you have inside information which can not be substantiated. Obviously you are one of those people making comments that knows the individuals involved and has a axe to grind..
Wrong, I do not, and do not wish to, know the individuals but I do know someone who was one of their victims.

Any information I have is in the public domain also.
Seriously brooksider? Comments regarding knowing about other businesses Mr Williams has sold and previous comments relating to this story about the financial involvement of a well known Worcester publican would suggest others...
[quote][p][bold]brooksider[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BrianCC[/bold] wrote: As I say I only have information available in the public domain where as clearly you have inside information which can not be substantiated. Obviously you are one of those people making comments that knows the individuals involved and has a axe to grind..[/p][/quote]Wrong, I do not, and do not wish to, know the individuals but I do know someone who was one of their victims. Any information I have is in the public domain also.[/p][/quote]Seriously brooksider? Comments regarding knowing about other businesses Mr Williams has sold and previous comments relating to this story about the financial involvement of a well known Worcester publican would suggest others... BrianCC
  • Score: 0

7:06pm Fri 8 Feb 13

FraudVictim says...

To set the record straight, I am a former tenant of Premier Places and a victim of the fraud from the above mentioned individuals.

No insurance payout was received and as you can see from the story above, the judge opted to pay the insurance companies rather than the victims.

In my case, the system has failed and justice has not been served.
To set the record straight, I am a former tenant of Premier Places and a victim of the fraud from the above mentioned individuals. No insurance payout was received and as you can see from the story above, the judge opted to pay the insurance companies rather than the victims. In my case, the system has failed and justice has not been served. FraudVictim
  • Score: 0

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