General, HP, Supporting our vulnerable adults, Trading Standards

Surrey trader who laundered cash in driveway repair scam must pay back £15,000 to victims

A Surrey trader who laundered cash from a driveway repair scam has been ordered to repay £15,000 to two vulnerable residents.

Charles Smailes, 22, of Stone Hill Road, Ottershaw was given a suspended jail sentence last year for his role in crimes which involved charging excessive sums for poor quality paving and landscaping work.

He returned to Guildford Crown Court on Friday 10 February to face a confiscation hearing to recover the proceeds of his crimes from his available assets.

Recorder Anthony Chinn QC gave Smailes three months to repay £15,000 or face a nine month jail sentence. The money will be split between two victims, one in Cranleigh and the other in Romney Marsh, Kent.

Smailes pleaded guilty in August last year to two counts of money laundering after the two householders involved were overcharged for substandard work at their properties. It followed an investigation by Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards.

The following month, Smailes was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours of community work. He also had to abide by a curfew for three months and pay a £100 victim surcharge.

Richard Walsh, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Localities and Community Wellbeing, said: “Smailes benefited financially at the expense of vulnerable, unsuspecting people because of his role in these crimes and must now pay back £15,000. I would like to thank trading standards officers in both Surrey and Kent for their diligent investigation in this case.”

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