Fife business owner to refund almost £24k after fraud charges

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A Fife business owner has pled guilty to four charges of fraud, after he took deposits for work he didn't carry out.

In some cases the man, a landscaper and paver, took at least half of the total cost.

His name and the name of his business have not been revealed.

Fife Council's trading standards team began an investigation after receiving several similar complaints from customers.

Many tried to get refunds but the man failed to return the money taken.

He's been sentenced after trading standards sent a prosecution report to the Crown Office.

He's now been ordered to refund some of his customers.

To the four charges the man pled guilty to he needs to refund £20,100.

He didn't plead to two additional charges but has to refund £3,847.

He was also sentenced to 45 hours community service and a six month supervision order in respect of the money due.

Lyndsey Radke, lead Trading Standards Officer said: “Consumers should be able to put their trust in tradespeople, particularly when asked to pay significant amounts of money upfront, and to expect all works are completed satisfactorily, within reasonable timescales and as agreed.

“We hope this prosecution sends a clear message that Trading Standards takes complaints of this nature seriously. We will not hesitate to investigate and take appropriate action against traders who flout consumer protection laws and cause consumer detriment”.

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