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Within three days of the money reaching Fenton’s account £65,000 was withdrawn by him in cash - £60,000 was transferred by him to other accounts in his name and the rest transferred to other people or companies.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 from SNAP.PA

Messi comes out on top, but we’ve spotted something dubious…

Read more

Word for word, has anyone ever read one of those website T&Cs documents? Politicians presume not.

Read more

Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth gets to indulge in his inner spy for Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Read more

Promoted content

Gamucci is a global leader and premier brand of electronic cigarettes

Gamucci has an electronic cigarette tailored for every need. We have a range of both disposable and rechargeable electronic cigarettes suitable for all adult smokers. And for a limited time, some great discounts.

Paddington

With Christmas comes a host of movies to the big screen, from festive family comedies to action blockbusters. Here is our pick of the best out next month.

Word for word, has anyone ever read one of those website T&Cs documents? Politicians presume not.

The 38-year-old triggered a manhunt after two bodies were found at an address in Surrey.

The mayor is meant to be convincing Singapore to invest in London – but he clearly has a bigger plan.

Dave’s on the immigration back foot. So does his crackdown on migrant benefits ring true?

Quirky London