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Conman to repay £25k back to victims across Sussex

June 15, 2018 4:02 PM
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He splashed out on expensive items including a Range Rover, personalised number plates, jewellery, electrical items, a jet ski and a holiday in South America.

He is currently serving a 30-month prison sentence for conning seven victims from Hove, Eastbourne, Hastings, St Leonards, Battle and Steyning.

Penfold, formerly of New Road, Uckfield, also cheated the elderly and vulnerable out of almost £50,000 for bogus building work.

East Sussex County Council successfully obtained a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act which requires Penfold to pay back £25,000.

He needs to pay the amount within months or have three years added to his jail term.

Councillor Bill Bentley, county council lead member for communities and safety, said: “This is a terrific result for the victims as it means Penfold must at least pay back some of this money – or face spending even more time behind bars.

“This individual callously and shamelessly used money fraudulently obtained from vulnerable residents who could scarcely afford it to fund a life of luxury for himself and those close to him.

“This verdict, which is the result of the diligent and painstaking work of our Trading Standards team, will be welcomed by the victims who suffered financially and emotionally because of his actions.”

In a hearing at Brighton Crown Court on Friday last week, the county council presented evidence that Penfold had benefited to the tune of more than £75,000 from his criminal activity.

The court accepted Penfold can only account for £25,000 to be repaid to his victims.

Money that was deemed to be recoverable included a £6,000 deposit for the Range Rover, £5,520 proceeds from the sale of the jet ski, and £412 for the personal number plate “JEZ 8517”, as well as payments and gifts made to his former partner, her family and one other individual.

The court rejected a submission by Penfold’s defence team who said he had “no assets”.

The court found he had failed to provide any compelling evidence to this effect and that he had a history of dishonesty proven by his conviction for these offences.

At a hearing in December last year, Penfold admitted defrauding seven victims across Sussex for building work.

He had only carried out minimal work on two properties, and he failed to do any work on the other five properties.

His victims included elderly sisters caring for their sick husbands, a retired couple and a resident in social housing.

Penfold had also used part of the money to fund a luxurious holiday in Mexico.

Source: theargus.co.uk

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