Suspended sentence for fraudster

A man operating a construction company in Grays was sentenced for a dozen fraud charges on Friday (12 November).

Kevin McCarthy of Great Notley, Braintree, was trading as Pasture Construction, Lodge Lane, Grays.

At Basildon Crown Court, he admitted 12 charges under the Fraud Act was sentenced to a total of ten months’ prison — suspended for a year — 150 hours’ community service and £47,500 costs and compensation.

McCarthy operated across Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire and London, where he contacted people who had applied for planning permission and said he would act as their project manager and take 13 per cent deposit after completing a quote for the build and drawing up a Programme of Works.

The court heard that, in the majority of cases he would not be seen again after taking the 13% where the client had problems with the building work

On his letterhead McCarthy advertised that he operated from five different “area offices”, but in fact only operated from the one in Grays — an accommodation address, some agreements with the other offices lapsed in 2006.

McCarthy gave the impression Pasture Construction Co – Extension Specialists was bigger and better than it was. He operates as a one man operation and is merely an introductory agent for clients who want building work done.

The offences were committed between 2007 and 2009.

Thurrock Council Trading Standards worked in conjunction with Scambusters – a regional organisation which operates to support councils taking action against traders operating across borders.

In another recent (8 October) success, a Bulphan man admitted possession of 11,000 pairs of counterfeit Calvin Klein underwear.

The council’s Trading Standards made test purchases on e-bay before carrying out a raid where the garments were seized.

The man admitted nine charges of selling counterfeit CK pants on Ebay and received a £500 fine.

He also admitted to the possession of 11,000 counterfeit pairs of underwear. He was fined £1,000

Thurrock Council was also awarded £3,000 costs and a £15 victim surcharge was imposed..

Cllr Gerard Rice, Thurrock’s portfolio holder for Enforcement, said: “This shows that Thurrock Council and its partners are determined to do all they can to protect local people from crime and criminals. We will continue to work hard to that end.”

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