A 46-year-old Lincolnshire man has been successfully prosecuted after conspiring to defraud an Orpington pensioner out of his property. The prosecution followed an investigation by Bromley Trading Standards and saved the man from losing his home.
The victim of the fraud was the 78-year-old Orpington man who had lived at the property since 1970. He received a cold call from Lawrence Rooney and a second man in March 2013, and they offered to carry out repairs on the £300,000 property.
He agreed that the house needed some work done, but he said he could not afford to pay for it. He believed an agreement was reached where he would stay at his home until he died. After that, he thought the house would be sold and payment would be made to the builders, but he had no idea how much the work cost because he did not receive any paperwork.
The paperwork he was told to sign at a Sutton solicitors actually signed the property straight over to Rooney, and the victim was told to leave by another man.
Rooney was convicted at Inner London Crown Court of conspiracy to defraud and will be sentenced in April. At an additional hearing after the trial, Rooney stated that he would be prepared to transfer ownership back to the victim.
Bromley Council is now helping the victim’s family ensure the property is transferred back correctly.
Are you aware of any similar cases of fraud being attempted in the local area?
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