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Agencies & People

Former letting agent jailed after failing to protect rental deposits

Andre Montaut falsified documents sent to MyDeposits about Barrington Properties' supposedly ring-fenced account.

Nigel Lewis

rental deposits

A former operator of a failed estate agency has been jailed for two years and a month after police discovered that he had used tenants’ rental deposits to prop up the ailing business.

Between May 2011 and November 2012 when Andre Montaut (pictured, above) worked at Barrington Property in Chalfont-St-Giles, Buckinghamshire, during which he directed rental deposits to an account he controlled, rather than lodging the funds properly via the recognised deposit protection scheme the business was a member of.

On 1st November 2012 Barrington Property shut up shop and it subsequently emerged that deposits totalling £70,000 belonging to 26 tenants had gone missing.

Montaut was supposed to have protected the tenants’ cash via MyDeposits, but had falsified documentation to suggest he had over £140,000 within a ring -fenced account.

“Montaut provided the fraudulent statements to MyDeposits in order to disguise the fact that the deposits were not being held in the segregated account, to maintain his membership of the scheme and to continue trading,” says a Thames Valley spokesperson.

No remorse

After a lengthy investigation by the force, Montaut was charged in June this year and is said by the investigating officers to have shown ‘no remorse’ over the missing cash.

“Montaut breached the trust placed in him by his clients,” says Detective Constable Ashley Ruane.

“Let this be a lesson to any estate agents who fail to protect the financial interests of their clients for their own benefit.”

August 30, 2019

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