Stratford man tricks council out of £250,000

16:00 07 April 2012

Robert Fenton of Essex Street sentenced to two years in prison for money laundering.

Robert Fenton of Essex Street sentenced to two years in prison for money laundering.

Archant

A Stratford man was sentenced to two years in prison for swindling a local council out of over £250,000.

Robert Fenton, 41, of Essex Street, was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on Thursday (March 22) convicted of money laundering after a four day trial.

A bogus letter was sent to Medway Council advising it of a construction company’s change of bank details, with an instruction that any new invoices should be paid to the new account. As a result, a bank payment was made to the new account for £256,101.

Officers believe Fenton was not the author of this letter but was involved in laundering the money for an organised crime gang.

The account was subsequently identified by investigating officers from Kent Police as belonging to Fenton, trading as `A-List’. The bank account had been open for eight years and was based in London.

Enquiries by officers led to Fenton who was living in a flat in Stratford, with a business unit number at The Business Design Centre, Upper Street, Islington.

Within three days of the money reaching Fenton’s account £65,000 was withdrawn by him in cash - £60,000 was transferred by him to other accounts in his name and the rest transferred to other people or companies. None of the £256,000 has been recovered.

Investigating officers, discovered that other major construction companies in the UK had also had similar bogus letters sent out in their names.

Fenton was arrested at his home address on September 21 2010. Officers searched his home and business unit and seized documents that proved the money passed through his account. Six staff at the premises who were not involved in Fenton’s criminal activity all left the business, which officers do not believe was part of the scam.

Martin Bradbeer, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate’s Serious Economic Crime Unit, said: “There is no doubt that there has been a professional organised gang behind these crimes which have taken place across the country. The money laundered by Fenton was moved to various people and companies, none of which have been traced.

“Fenton rented his premises at the Business Design Centre and ran a modelling agency. He was also involved in event organisation. He no longer has the business.”

Latest Stories

The M25 is experiencing southbound delays neard the Dartford Crossing [Picture by Darren Meacher under a Creative Commons license]

There are delays of up to half an hour on the clockwise/southbound M25 near the Dartford Crossing after a car caught fire at 10:20am. The fire has been extinguished and recovery of the car is now being arranged. All anticlockwise lanes are now moving normally.

Read more
The Job Centre at 120-122 Deptford High Street in its original incarnation in 2008. Although the pub keeps the name, it has not kept the distinctive green and yellow sign [Photo from Google StreetView]

Campaigners have criticised a ‘poor taste’ pub that has opened in a disused Job Centre on Deptford High Street – and kept the name.

Read more
21 minutes ago
The orginal tweets in which @MPSinthesky made their reply to @anyabokepublic [Image from Twitter]

A Twitter user has accused the Met Police of encouraging their 91,000 Twitter followers to bully her.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

Take our quiz and see how much you know about the Wimbledon Tennis Championships (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Do you know SW19 like the back of your hand? From Henman Hill to Centre Court, Fred Perry to Andy Murray? Well then you should ace our Wimbledon quiz:

Read more
Croatia's Daniel Prajnic, France's Paul Pogba and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo... three hair-raising World Cup stars (Picture: Archant/Getty)

The World Cup is a showcase of fantastic football... and terrible hairstyles. Try this quiz and test your knowledge of the wackiest barnets in Brazil.

Read more
World Cup countries quiz

It's about time you refreshed your brains about the countries competing in Brazil.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
Instead of actually going to a park, take our quiz about them... (Picture: Warrick Page/Getty Images)

Think-Kew have got what it takes?

Read more