A family of ‘cold and calculating’ rogue traders, who held pensioners ‘ransom’, have been jailed after scamming their victims out of almost £400,000.
Madeline Lovell, 41, and Andrew Lovell, 43, had their family home in Cheshire raided by police after scamming elderly residents for a total of £398,490.
Also apprehended was Kevin Brown, 61, from Mold, North Wales. Together the trio of fraudsters had pressured their victims into having work done to their homes before then charging extortionate amounts for their ‘shoddy’ workmanship.
The gang has been started their stint behind bars, with Andrew Lovell jailed for four years and six months, Madeline Lovell for 27 months, and Brown being locked up for 18 months.
News of their sentencing comes as police today released dramatic footage of the moment officers in body armour sliced through a door and kicked it in during the operation to arrest the trio of con artists.
WHERE YOU ONE OF THE GANG’S VICTIMS OR KNOW ANYONE WHO WAS? PLEASE EMAIL JOHN.JAMES@MAILONLINE.CO.UK
Andrew Lovell (left) from Chester pleaded guilty to nine counts of fraud by false representation and money laundering, he was sentenced to four years six months
Madeline Lovell, (right, entering the van) of the same address pleaded guilty to three counts fraud by false representation and money laundering. She was sentenced to 27 months
Detective Constable Gareth Yates from Cheshire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit (ECU) was part of the team investigating the gang. He said: ‘These elderly residents were in essence held to ransom by these cold and calculating defendants.
‘They were made to feel they had no option but to pay, for often shoddy work, at highly inflated prices.
‘The Economic Crime Unit was determined to catch the offenders who were preying on members of the community, who were often having to break into their life savings to pay these individuals off.
‘They knew they’d been defrauded, but were unable to fight back, they felt powerless, frustrated, and embarrassed.
‘They were made to feel unsafe in their own home and left in fear of what would happen if they didn’t pay.’
Detectives from Cheshire ECU team began investigating reports of rogue traders operating in the Cheshire and Merseyside areas in 2022.
Detectives tracked the gang down using an array of police tactics including forensic analysis of financial, telecom and ANPR data to link these suspects to the crimes they had committed.
Their investigation found the trio had persuaded their victims that work was required on their home, and in most cases no work was needed.
The defendants were arrested in raids at their home addresses following an extensive investigation by the ECU and subsequently charged
The trio scammed pensioners for a total of £398,490 by persuading their victims that work was required on their home, and in most cases no work was needed
Once the victims agreed for the work to take place on their home, it was then completed to an extremely poor standard and the pricing of the work was extortionate
Once the victims agreed for the work to take place on their home, it was then completed to an extremely poor standard and the pricing of the work was extortionate.
An independent chartered surveyor was brought in to detail the losses to each victim in his separate reports. He noted the work was extremely poor and in some case wasn’t required.
All three pleaded guilty to their crimes and appeared at Chester Crown Court on June, 27 to be sentenced.
Andrew Lovell admitted nine counts of fraud by false representation and money laundering.
Madeline Lovell pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation and money laundering. While, Brown pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation and money laundering.
DC Yates added: ‘Our dedicated team will stop at nothing to root out those who commit fraud especially against our most vulnerable members of our society.
‘We will continue to disrupt their illegal activities and protect our communities by putting these criminals behind bars.’