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Consumer news, Trading Standards prosecutions

Rogue trader pleads guilty to fraud

Posted on: 2 February 2023

A rogue trader from North Devon who took money for landscaping and building work that was either done poorly or not started has pleaded guilty to fraud.

At Barnstaple Magistrates Court on Tuesday 31 January, Samuel Harvey, 32, of Greenbank Road, Barnstaple admitted to three offences under the Fraud Act and two offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.

The court heard that Harvey had run a series of companies as a sole trader and between June 2020 and April 2022 had taken money for landscaping, gardening and building work.

Following complaints, officers at Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service (HotSWTSS) investigated.

They found that Harvey took money off customers across Devon in the Plymouth, Barnstaple, Bideford and Ilfracombe areas as well as Bridgend and Swansea in Wales.

Steve Gardiner, legal process manager for HotSWTSS, said: “If you’re looking to have work done then Trading Standards always advise you get recommendations from friends and family, trade associations or from the Trading Standards run Buy With Confidence approved trader scheme.”

Sentencing will be at Exeter Crown Court on Tuesday 28 February.