Posted: Sun 2nd Oct 2016

Rogue Traders Jailed For 6 Years

This article is old - Published: Sunday, Oct 2nd, 2016

A father and son; Jeffrey Tawse, 52 and James, 25, from Cardiff, were sentenced to 6 years and two years respectively at Cardiff Crown Court for conspiracy to defraud consumers which included a family from Merthyr Tydfil along with fourteen other victims across South Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The prosecution was brought by Trading Standards Scambusters Wales team. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Both men who are from Rumney in Cardiff pleaded guilty to the charge at Newport Crown Court in July. Jeffrey Tawse also admitted a money laundering offence. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Trading Standards Scambuster Wales Team carried out a two-year investigation into the pair’s activities called Operation Genesis and team leader Andrew Bertie welcomed the sentences. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Their actions were inexcusable and I am pleased that the sentence recognises the serious impact they had on their victims.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The investigation discovered that between August 2011 and September 2014, the offenders claimed to work as representatives of Premier Drives, J&R South West Power Washing, General Landscape Gardening, General Jetwashing Services and Premier Jetwashing Services. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

All these “businesses” were unregistered while addresses and contact details supplied to consumers on documentation and invoices were false. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The victims aged between 50 and 97, were affected across nine council areas who in total lost more than £70,000. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Merthyr Tydfil family who fell fowl of their tactics had paid for power washing of their driveway, the price was to include applying weed killing sand and a sealant which was to provide a 5 year guarantee that the drive would be weed free. Within days weeds penetrated and upon complaining by telephone they were met with an angry response from Mr Tawse. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A chartered surveyor who examined the work on behalf of Scambusters Wales found that no sealant had been applied at any of the addresses and, in some cases, salt water had been used. His assessment was that the work was of no value. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In sentencing the pair, Judge David Wynn Morgan said: “You identify and prey on the vulnerable in the community in a deliberate, consistent, cold blooded way.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mark Lewis of Merthyr Tydfil Trading Standards “ This type of crime operates across local Authority borders By. Local Authorities working sharing information we can utilise the resources of the Wales Scambuster Team to investigate cases of cross border crime. This is an excellent example of joint working to bring criminals to account; it shows the Court the totality of the crimes committed against often vulnerable members of our community. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

We want to warn our residents to never employ cold callers or unknown traders to do any work at their homes. If home maintenance is needed ask friends and family for recommendations first. Always get a full quotation in writing before you agree a contract, take your time, you have a 14 day cooling off period if you agree a contract at your home. Don’t be pressured by the “trader” offering to start straight away, Trading Standards know that good reliable traders often have a waiting list of customers; be suspicious if an unknown caller knocks and says he is looking for work and can start straight away” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Contact Merthyr Tydfil Trading Standards if you wish to obtain a No Cold Caller poster to display at your home on 01685 725248. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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