Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Prosecutions

Former estate agent pleads guilty to fraud

On 19th February at the Exeter Crown Court, Russell Baker of Ilsington, Devon plead guilty to 9 offences of fraud.  

The charges were in relation to his former estate agency business, which included letting out of properties on behalf of landlords. Initially the investigation related to tenants deposits, and whether they had been paid into a government approved scheme. A number of landlords also allowed Baker to manage their properties for them but they found that they weren’t receiving rental payments. As the investigation expanded, and Devon and Cornwall Police also became involved, a couple were found who had paid a £22500 deposit to Baker in relation to a house purchase, but this money was not received by their solicitors.

In total the charges pleaded guilty to amount to £157250 worth of fraud. Sentencing has been deferred to Monday 12th September, to allow Mr Baker time to provide restitution to all of the victims referred to on the indictment.

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