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Builder who cheated client jailed for four years

18 Dec 23 A builder who defrauded his client on their £700,000 home refurbishment has been jailed for four years following a prosecution brought by Kensington and Chelsea Council.

Jimmy Lee, the sole director of Myint Construction Ltd was prosecuted for fraud and deception after a three-year investigation by trading standards officers.

Lee pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraudulent trading contrary to section 993(1) of the Companies Act 2006. After a three-week trial he was found guilty of all charges.

The builder defrauded his client after undertaking a building contract through deception by fabricating references and issuing false invoices. He provided misleading information about timeframes and delays, leaving the property unfinished and in disrepair.

In February 2018, Lee was hired by the client to undertake a £700,000 refurbishment contract for a private property in South Kensington. The client entered into a contract with the builder after being given fraudulent references and a site visit to a property where Lee had not even worked.

The client made payments, for the purpose of paying sub-contractors, into a personal account which Lee had misrepresented as a business account.

He spent a substantial portion of that money in casinos instead of paying sub-contractors and submitted fraudulent invoices to the client.

Lee’s failure to supervise the works sufficiently led to defective and non-compliant installations leaving the property in disrepair and the works incomplete.

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Appearing at Southwark Crown Court on Friday (15th December), Lee was sentenced to four years in prison and disqualified from being a company director for eight years.

The council’s trading standards team is now considering any proceeds of crime obtained as a result of Lee’s criminality.

Councillor Cem Kemahli, lead member for planning and public realm said:

“Cheating our residents won't go unpunished and this charlatan has rightfully been prosecuted for defrauding [his] client. This action is a signal to all other fraudulent operators that we won't hesitate to take action.

“Our trading standards team have worked tirelessly whilst investigating one of the biggest cases in the borough, work which took almost three years. 

“Let this show that we will continue to protect residents and stop unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices as we work to create a safer and fairer borough.”

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