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 STOKE-ON-TRENT, NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME, STAFFORDSHIRE MOORLANDS, SOUTH CHESHIRE

Rogue trader sentenced for fraud and money laundering



A rogue trader from Stoke-on-Trent has been sentenced to three years for 11 fraud charges and one money laundering charge after a successful investigation by Stoke-on-Trent City Council trading standards team.

 

Sean Stanway, aged 53, of Ellenor Court, Stoke-on-Trent, trading as Stanway Property and Maintenance, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of fraud and money laundering at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on 11 October 2023 where the Magistrates referred the matter to the Crown Court for sentencing on Friday 23 January 2024.

 

The case was investigated when trading standards began receiving complaints that money had been paid to Mr Stanway for building work or materials that had not be provided, or had been carried out to a poor standard and left incomplete. Mr Stanway also made a series of false excuses including that he had cancer when he did not, and providing fake supplier documents.

 

The offences related to five consumers in Stoke on Trent, Shropshire and Cheshire, the total value they were outstanding being nearly £57,000. In addition to the significant financial loss, the victims also suffered emotional stress and turmoil as a result of his actions.

 

At the sentencing hearing on Friday 26 January 2024 at Stoke on Trent Crown Court, Hanley, Recorder Robert Smith told Stanway ‘You were taking money to keep your business afloat, knowing full well that the work would not and never would be completed. You told a pack of lies to many of your customers to keep the ruse that your business was viable going’.

 

Councillor Amjid Wazir, cabinet member for city pride, enforcement, and sustainability said: “This type of fraud can have a devastating impact on the finances and lives of victims. Mr Stanway had a selfish disregard for his victims as he has not only often left their homes in a mess, but saw them severely financially out of pocket because they were forced to employ other competent traders to finish or complete the work.

 

“We treat these crimes very seriously and these investigations are vital to protect the residents of Stoke-on-Trent.”

 

The city council urge anyone who is considering having building and property maintenance work carried out to do some detailed research first for verification. This includes ensuring the trader has a geographical address and provides paperwork. It is advisable to get three quotes, and ask to for references from satisfied customers. Paying for goods and services over £100 by credit card also gives additional protection.

Anyone who requires advice or wants to report a similar issue to trading standards can call 0808 223 1133 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk.

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