CAN YOU AFFORD NOT TO USE AN A.R.L.A. AGENT? - <<Back

A troubled estate agent who fiddled his clients out of thousands of pounds has been jailed, reports the Coventry Telegraph.Debt-plagued Coventry businessman Stephen Greenwood was given a 12-month sentence for fraud after a ‘‘catastrophic fall from grace’’.A court was told he ran his own property lettings company in Rugby but ran into money problems. He collected rent on properties he was managing but did not pass it back to the homeowners.Mr. Greenwood pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud, worth more tha

n £19,000, and asked for a further 59 counts to be taken into consideration, which amounted to a further £50,000.He was handed a 12-month sentence and was disqualified from working as a company director for four years at a hearing at Leamington Crown Court.The court heard the 55-year-old businessman had launched the lettings agency Greenwood Homes in Rugby in 1985. But when a Spanish property investment failed to pay out on time, the court heard Greenwood began “robbing Peter to pay Paul” to keep his business afloat. The business closed in October 2009 and went into liquidation a month later.Prosecutor Michael Hanning said, “It was only after the company ceased trading that the offences came to light. Landlords of property managed by Greenwood realised they had not been paid rental payments they were due. It’s one of those cases of robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

 

Mr Hanning explained Greenwood had been collecting rent from tenants but instead of passing it on to the landlords, minus a commission, he had been keeping hold of it. Statements to say the money had been paid continued to be sent to the clients. Mr Hanning explained the first victim owned four properties in Church Street, Rugby that were managed by Greenwood, for six years with no problems.

 

But when he heard the business had closed in October 2009, he checked his accounts and discovered he had not been paid since January 2009.Michael Brook, in mitigation, said: “Mr Greenwood today is, in effect, a broken man. He had built up a reputation and business over decades in Rugby and that is now in ruins. To put it bluntly, he finds himself with no home, no job and without a relationship.”He explained that Greenwood had hoped to repay the money unnoticed when the payout came from his Spanish investment. He went on, “This is a man of good character who suffered a catastrophic fall from grace.”Jailing Greenwood, Judge Charles Harris QC told Greenwood the charges could only be dealt with by a custodial sentence.He added, “It is a sad case, you come from a good background and you are an intelligent, middle-aged man, you are remorseful and I give you credit for your pleas.”

 

<< Back

TERMS OF USE | PRIVACY POLICY | © THE LETTING LINK | SITE BY THE PROPERTY JUNGLE | SEARCH ALL PROPERTIES