Date set for hearing over £80,000 fraud repayments to elderly victims
- Credit: Archant
A confiscation hearing which will decide how much the director of a Suffolk mobility furniture company who was jailed for fraud will have to repay elderly and disabled customers who he swindled out of £80,000 has been adjourned until September.
David Waters, 71, of Manwick Road, Felixstowe, was jailed for 32 months in December 2019 after he and his company Anchor Mobility Limited were convicted of a string of unfair trading offences.
The charges were brought following an investigation by Suffolk Trading Standards officers who spoke to the company’s customers across the country.
More than 20 customers paid Waters, who was sole director of Anchor Mobility Ltd, for furniture including reclining chairs, sofas and beds they never received.
During a three-week trial in October 2019 Waters denied fraudulent trading by taking payment without delivering goods, pressurising customers to make purchases, and failing to issue refunds between October 2016 and August 2017.
Waters and Anchor Mobility also denied engaging in an unfair commercial practice which contravened requirements of professional diligence between October 2016 and August 2017.
The company and Waters also denied 13 offences of being engaged in misleading commercial practices by failing to fulfil representations that furniture would be delivered to customers within an agreed time period.
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In addition to being jailed Waters, who was convicted of all the offences, was made the subject of a criminal behaviour order and banned from being a company director for 10 years.
Anchor Mobility was fined £1,000 for each count of unfair commercial practice.
On Friday (June 11) Waters returned to Ipswich Crown Court for a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act which will decide how much he has to repay to his victims.
Gareth Hughes, for Waters, asked for the hearing to be adjourned until September 3 to allow his client’s property in Felixstowe to be valued and for a further report by a forensic accountant.
Judge Emma Peters agreed to adjourn the case but said she was keen for the matter to be resolved as quickly as possible to enable the defendant’s elderly victims to be compensated for their losses.