Trio ordered to pay victims £35,000 following business fraud
Two brothers from Minety and a third man from Aldermaston have today been ordered to pay their victims around £35,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
In April, Matty Rossiter, 18, and James Rossiter, 24, were given custodial sentences for participating in a fraudulent business and fraud by false representation. A third man, Dean Smith, 21, was given a custodial sentence for participating in a fraudulent business.
The initial prosecution related to unnecessary and overpriced work carried out at 18 properties, with customers aged between 44 and 90, who were defrauded out of approximately £45,000. Many customers had to then pay others to correct the initial sub-standard work. The convictions followed an investigation by Wiltshire Council officers, supported by National Trading Standards, South West Regional Investigation Team.
The men had traded under a number of business names, including Southern Homecare, Chippenham Roofing and Skyling Roofing, with offences carried out in Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire and Bristol between October 2020 and March 2021.
Following their conviction, a Proceeds of Crime investigation was conducted by Wiltshire Council, assisted by Portsmouth City Council. Proceeds of crime is the term given to money or assets gained by criminals during the course of their criminal activity. Following the investigation, the men have been ordered to pay compensation of £35,265.83 to 17 victims. This value has been determined based on the money that the victims were originally defrauded of and the incurred costs of any additional repairs. They have been ordered to pay within three months or face a further prison term, in addition to their original sentences.
Cllr Nick Holder, Cabinet Member for Public Protection said;
I am pleased that in addition to the original conviction and custodial sentence, these men have been ordered to compensate their original victims.
The investigation into these men was extensive and one which, at times, the families and officers involved found distressing. The men had pressured their victims, some of whom were elderly and vulnerable, into paying large sums of money for unnecessary works. I am grateful that not only have we been able to bring these criminals to justice, but we have been able to secure some compensation for their victims.
I hope that today’s outcome will act as a warning to others that rogue traders will not prosper or get away with this type of behaviour in Wiltshire.