Jail for money launderer in roof scam

  |  Published: Sep 25th 2015
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Money paid to rogue roofers by two vulnerable residents found its way into the bank account of Jonathan Barnstable.

And on Tuesday (September 22) at Aylesbury Crown Court Judge Francis Sheridan jailed him for seven months for his part in a money laundering crime, linked to a roof repairs scam investigated by Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards.

His case follows jail sentences by the court in June for Billy Hilden and Colin Packham, found guilty of their parts in laundering money from the scam, and a suspended sentence and supervision order in July for Michelle Edwards who admitted her part.

The doorstep scam involved more than a quarter of a million pounds for spurious roof repairs to two homes - one in the Buckingham area and the other in Thatcham. 
An independent surveyor, commissioned by Trading Standards, said there was no evidence of any significant works at the Thatcham house and in any event such works were unnecessary. He found sub-standard roof work on the Buckingham area home worth little more than £280.

Mr Barnstable, of Avenue Road, Epsom, Surrey, pleaded guilty to four counts of acquiring and transferring criminal  property, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

The court heard that Mr Barnstable twice met a man called Raymond in the Woodstock pub in Cheam, Surrey, who said he had a problem paying money into his bank account for materials for a building job.

On October 10, 2012, Raymond asked him if he would accept a bank transfer of £10,000, and pass the money on to him in two cash transactions. Thirteen days later he asked him to accept another £5,600 and transfer it to him cash. Mr Barnstable was paid £600 for the these transactions.

The money turned out to be proceeds from the roof repair scam - the larger amount from Thatcham resident Brian Hotham, and the smaller amount from Roger Faulkner who lived in the Buckingham area. 

Judge Sheridan described the roofing scam as a despicable crime by an organised gang of criminals in which Mr Barnstable had a small but important part.

Martin Phillips, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, praised Trading Standards investigators for their patience and tenacity in bringing the prosecution.

'These are not easy crimes to investigate, but their determination demonstrates we will continue to prosecute these crooks until they realise Buckinghamshire is a no-go area for them,' he said. 'However plausible doorstep rogue traders may seem, we all need to watch that we and our neighbours aren't taken for a ride by them.'

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