Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases | Central Bedfordshire Council

Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

We're flushed with success after rogue plumber ordered to repay proceeds of crime

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Our financial investigation team has successfully obtained a confiscation order of over £1.4 million, including assets of £88,000 and £42,000 victim compensation, after a rogue plumber was convicted.

The team, which works on behalf of other local authorities who don’t employ their own investigators, presented a report to Leicester Crown Court earlier this month, after Russell Canfield and seven others were convicted of fraudulent trading. This report outlined the overall criminal benefit made from various offences and identified any assets that could be confiscated.

As a result of this work, we'll receive 18.75% of the money recovered from the investigation, which will be invested back into our services. This case was significant as it was part of an investigation shown on BBC Watchdog that saw 157 people scammed into giving up their own money. If the money is not recovered within three months, Canfield will receive a one year extension to his sentence.

Financial investigator, Philip Richards, said:

These people particularly targeted elderly and vulnerable residents, who said they often felt threatened to make payments, and various trading names were used to disguise the real company behind the plumbing work.

When BBC Watchdog carried out the investigation, they requested jobs to be fixed that should have cost no more than £100, but the residents were being charged up to £768. One of the most satisfying parts of my role is to see justice being carried out for people who have been exploited in this way.

Our Executive Member for Community Services, Coundillor Ian Dalgarno, said:

This criminal gang's members were set on taking money from people in their local community and have paid a high price for their actions. I’m glad that after a lengthy and detailed investigation, we’ve been able to recover victim compensation within the confiscation order, enabling people to get the money back that they lost. The money we receive from this investigation helps us fund these investigations and stop crime across England.