General, HP, Supporting our vulnerable adults, Trading Standards

Jail for cowboy roofers who preyed on elderly residents

Two cowboy roofers who fleeced elderly residents out of thousands of pounds by overcharging for poor quality work have been jailed.

John Green, 50, of Horton Road, Staines and George Roy, 55, of Holmlea Road, Slough carried out a spate of frauds in Surrey, Hampton and Hertfordshire between 2011 and 2013.

Trading under the name “George Roy Roofing Contractors”, they amassed £585,000 which they laundered through company bank accounts.

Following an investigation by Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards, Green’s arrest featured on the ITV documentary “Hunting the Doorstep Conmen” in 2013.

Victims of the fraud, who were mainly elderly and vulnerable, included a Guildford man who was charged £25,700 for work considered by surveyors to be worth nothing and largely unnecessary. He refused to hand over any money but had to pay nearly £10,000 to another contractor to return his roof to a proper state.

In Tadworth, roofing and guttering work was carried out for a couple who paid £9,900. It was later valued at no more than £5,000 to £6,000.

Meanwhile a couple in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, were charged £22,000 for work on their roof valued at £850.

In a separate fraud committed without Roy, Green had charged a resident in Watford, Hertfordshire £83,850 for work including roofing, block paving, kitchen and bathroom fitting and plastering. The work was later valued by a surveyor at £14,000.

That offence, relating to work carried out in 2010, was investigated by Hertfordshire Police.

Green laundered £60,350 of the proceeds and his son – John Green Junior, 26, of Sutton Lane, Slough – laundered the remaining £23,500.

Following a five-week trial at Guildford Crown Court which concluded on Friday 14 October, John Green Senior was found guilty of two counts of participating in a fraudulent business, two counts of fraud by false representation and three counts of money laundering.

He was sentenced on Tuesday 18 October to four years in prison.

Roy was convicted of one count of participating in a fraudulent business and two counts of money laundering, and was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

John Green Junior was found guilty of one count of money laundering but cleared of two counts of participating in a fraudulent business and a count of fraud by false representation.

He was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and abide by a curfew between 9pm and 5am for the next three months.

The three defendants now face a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing to recover cash and return it to residents who were conned.

A fourth defendant, Steven Delbridge, 51, of Montrose Avenue, Slough, was cleared of participating in a fraudulent business.

Richard Walsh, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Localities and Community Wellbeing, said: “Rogue traders spell misery for residents and undermine legitimate businesses and our trading standards officers work hard to bring them to justice and get cash returned to those who were ripped off. Protecting vulnerable and elderly residents is at the core of what we do and these sentences will send a strong message to those tempted to try and exploit them.”

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