THREE rogue traders have been jailed for failure to comply with a restraint order, following successful court action by Hillingdon Council.
David Diaz, Ludovik Black and Gary McVey, who owned SAS Fire and Security Systems Ltd, appeared at Norwich Crown Court last week and pleaded guilty to contempt of court charges after failing to comply with the order.
The unscrupulous trio had previously been found guilty of unfairly selling burglar alarms to elderly residents in the borough.
They would cold-call potential buyers and persuade them to allow an employee to visit and offer an alarm for free, or £1.
During the visit, it would transpire that, to get the so-called free alarm, it was necessary to spend thousands on a monitoring contract.
On their conviction in 2012, Hillingdon successfully applied for an order to freeze the men’s assets and stop them from spending or covering up any of the cash they had made from their scams.
The aim was to recover any financial benefit they had obtained from their criminal conduct.
Hillingdon’s legal officers discovered the men had made payments to family accounts to hide some of the money they had illegally gained.
Judge Holt described them in court as thoroughly dishonest. Diaz and Black were jailed for four and a half months while McVey was sentenced to two months in prison.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, the men have been ordered to pay back a collective £1m. This is to be divided between the council, the Treasury and the Courts and Tribunals Service.
The men were also ordered to pay the council’s legal costs of £400,000.
Hillingdon Council Leader Ray Puddifoot said: “This has been a complicated and drawn-out case, but our officers have worked very hard to make sure we got the right result.
“These men preyed on vulnerable residents and lined their pockets with the cash from their scams. We were not prepared to sit back and let them live the high life at the expense of our residents.”