Letting Agent Must Pay Up or Face 30 More Months in Jail
Fraudster Chandra Patel, who was jailed for ten months for taking thousands of pounds in deposits handed over by tenants, faces more time in prison if he does not repay the cash.
Patel ran Giraffe Residential in New Malden, Surrey; when he started dipping into cash, he held trust for landlords and tenants to pay personal debts.
The letting agent owed £25,000 to around 17 landlords who had to pay out to cover the loss of their tenants’ deposits.
Now, Patel must pay £37,130 compensation and costs within three months or face an extra 30 months in prison after returning to the court earlier this month, when the judge determined he had sufficient means to pay the money.
Last year, Patel, 34, admitted two charges of fraudulent trading at Kingston Crown Court, where Judge Timothy Lamb sentenced him to jail.
Andy Johnson-Creek, Kingston Council’s cabinet member for Trading Standards, said:
“This sends a clear message that it is the perpetrator, not the victim, who pays for the cost of crime.”
10-year ban for a landlord
Meanwhile, landlord Katia Goremsandu has received a 10-year criminal behaviour order (CBO) that stops her from directly managing private rental property.
Westminster City Council claims this is only the second time a CBO has been given to a landlord.
Goremsandu was also fined £3,500 and ordered to pay £7,765 costs for ignoring an improvement order against one of her letting properties in London.
In 2015, she topped the list of most prosecuted landlords for breaking house in multiple occupation rules (HMO).
The order stops her from managing private rental accommodation in Westminster and Haringey, London. She cannot own a company or hold an office in a company providing rented accommodation.
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