A fraudulent company director has been jailed after targeting “elderly and vulnerable residents” in a series of roofing scams in Buckinghamshire.
Kumarapan Kunaratnam, of Peterborough Road in Harrow, singled out pensioners, some of whom in their 90s, and offered them “unnecessary” roofing work which was “poor quality and overpriced”.
The 43-year-old targeted three houses in Chesham, one home in Little Chalfont, two in Thame and others in Staines and Datchet.
The former salesman and director admitted three counts of carrying on a business for fraudulent purposes during 2014 and 2015 at Aylesbury Crown Court on Friday (June 9).
Kunaratnam, a salesman for Future Homes Development Ltd and director for Top Homes Roofing and Top Home Group, cold-called residents and left leaflets about repairs containing false claims.
The court heard that Kunaratnam would price up the job, offer misleading discounts and get a signed contract, which inadvertently waived the 'vulnerable' residents' statutory cancellation rights.
Prosecuting, Gary Pons recalled one case where work was quoted at £8,096 and reduced on discount to just over £4,500, but an expert stated the work done was worth around £600.
In another case, Kunaratnam discounted the price by £2,000 but left loose mortar and broken tiles at the house, to the extent that the expert said the work had no value at all.
The court heard from chartered surveyor Charles Leigh-Dugmore, who said customers had been grossly overcharged for work that was unnecessary, of poor standard or not carried out at all.
Judge Catherine Tulk condemned Kunaratnam's “premeditated” actions carried out in the county.
“You deliberately targeted several elderly people and couples,” she said.
“You were actively involved, not just as the director, but on the front line - you were the brains and hands of the company.”
Judge Tulk jailed the fraudster for 27 months, ordered him to pay compensation of £10,000 and banned him from being a company director for 10 years.
Anne Wight, Buckinghamshire County Council's deputy cabinet member for community engagement, praised Trading Standards and the police investigation.
She said: “This case gives a very clear message to those who would prey on our elderly and vulnerable residents, that we'll go to great lengths in striving to make Buckinghamshire a no-go area for doorstop criminals.”