A Nottinghamshire man who scammed more than £3,000 in deposits from householders for work he then never carried out has been ordered to repay his victims and carry out unpaid community work by Nottingham Magistrates today (3 April 2012).
James Alexander Grozier (36), who ran Direct Trade Frames in Pelham Street, was found guilty of five charges of Fraud by False Representation.
He had denied the charges at an earlier trial but had admitted one charge of failing to provide a cancellation notice.
He was sentenced to a 242 hour community order, ordered to pay back £3,030 to five victims and pay £1,580 in costs to Nottinghamshire County Council.
Trading Standards Officers from the County Council began investigating Grozier after receiving a number of complaints that he had taken money for work he’d not done and not provided correct contact details on paperwork he provided.
His victims – from Worksop, Skegness, Spilsby and West Bridgford in Nottingham – handed over sums ranging from £130 to £1,400 for a variety of work, including new doors, windows and an internal porch.
All repeatedly tried to contact Grozier after paying deposits for the work but he never returned their calls.
None of the victims were classed as vulnerable. Many had picked up leaflets promoting Direct Trade Frames and contacted the company about work they requred to the property.
Grozier took the deposits after visiting the victims and providing quotes.
Councillor Mick Murphy, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at Nottinghamshire County Council said, “This case goes to show that it is not only the vulnerable that can become victims of conmen and that we all need to be on our guard and aware of our rights.
“The victims in this case handed over deposits in good faith. Mr Grozier took the money and then never responded to their calls, which would imply he never had any intention of carrying out the work.
“Our general advice is to never purchase goods or services from a doorstep caller. If you do, be aware of your right to cancel and always try to get several quotes for work. We would always recommend using companies vetted by Trading Standards which are registered with the Buy with Confidence scheme.”
If you are suspicious of a cold caller operating in your area call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06.
Nottinghamshire County Council’s Buy with Confidence scheme lists trades people who have demonstrated their commitment to fair and honest trading.