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Rogue agent starts seven-year prison sentence after ‘sophisticated fraud’

Employer, Martin & Co. dismisses property manager, compensates clients and says it is reassured internal system picked up the fraud.

Sheila Manchester

rogue agent

A rogue agent who inflated invoices to scam customers whilst working at a Truro estate agent has had 10 months added to an already lengthy sentence.

Gareth Griffith, 39, was jailed for seven years at Blackfriars Crown Court for his part in a sophisticated investment fraud in which 1,200 people across the world have been defrauded of up to £4 million.

In addition to this, Griffith also defrauded customers during his time at Martin & Co Letting and Estate Agents in New Bridge Street, Truro, between February and June 2017.

Website Cornwall Live reported that Griffith was due to appear at Truro Crown Court to be sentenced for three counts of fraud but because he failed to board the prison bus, the case proceeded in his absence.

The frauds relate to Griffith inflating invoices and pocketing the extra money whilst employed as a property manager at Martin & Co.

rogue agentSentencing the rogue agent (left), Judge Robert Linford said, “You pleaded guilty to three offences of fraud, offences committed whilst on bail for other offences.

“You were, whilst employed at Martin & Co. inflating invoices that were sent to customers and effectively creaming off the money additional to what the company was entitled to for your own personal gain.”

Judge Linford explained how Griffith gained nearly £10,000 from two of the other frauds, and had one foiled with a potential gain of a further £7,000.

He added, “I’ve read a large number of character references speaking highly of you and a letter from your fiancé explaining how hard it is without you around but it is so often the case that the relatives suffer more than the offender themselves.”

For the Truro crimes Judge Linford added a further 10 months to Griffith’s existing seven year sentence.

A Martin & Co. statement released following the sentencing, says: “We are pleased that our company procedures and due diligence in uncovering his actions so quickly and subsequent immediate dismissal led to this conviction and sentencing.

“We wish to state that all of our affected clients have received full compensation though our client money protection scheme, which is a requirement for all regulated agents.”

Read more about Truro rogue agents.

 

November 4, 2019

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