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Letting agent handed suspended sentence over £50k embezzlement

  • 08/02/2022
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Letting agent handed suspended sentence over £50k embezzlement
A rogue letting agent has been given a two-year suspended sentence and ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service after confessing to pocketing thousands of pounds meant for his landlord clients.

Paul Cheriton, who is originally from Kilwinning in Scotland, was found to have abused to position in order to fraudulently obtain more than £50,000. Cheriton worked for Hadland Estate Agents, and took advantage of the pandemic when the firm was forced to trust its staff to work from home.

He diverted payments, which should have gone to the agency’s landlord clients, into bank accounts that he controlled. Daniel Martin, partner at JMW Solicitors who brought the case, said that Cheriton “exploited working from home” and got away with his crimes for longer than he otherwise would have due to the pandemic.

Cheriton was subject to a private prosecution from his ex-employers, who said they wanted to bring the case to court as quickly as possible in order to prevent him from repeating his crimes with other small businesses.

Simon Hadland, managing director of Hadland Estate Agents, said: “Many businesses have struggled during the pandemic and this sort of fraudulent activity puts people’s livelihoods at risk. We took the unusual step of prosecuting this case privately to ensure that Mr. Cheriton couldn’t do this again to someone else. We have ensured that our clients weren’t impacted by this fraud and all losses have been covered.”

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