A rogue trader who defrauded hundreds of people and is currently serving a five year prison sentence following his conviction for fraud at Bournemouth Crown Court, has now been ordered to pay £128,950 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Giles Ward-Best, aged 44 years of Firbank Road in Bournemouth, traded as Telecom Protection Service Ltd & others from his base in Bournemouth selling Call Blocker devices. His conviction came following a lengthy investigation by the National Trading Standards South West Regional Investigations Team, hosted by Bristol City Council with support from Bournemouth Trading Standards.
Between 2013 and 2015 complaints flooded in from consumers with many claiming they had been missold, that they had been unable to return faulty devices or that they were unable to cancel within the cancellation period. A considerable number of Mr. Ward-Best’s victims were elderly and often found that their phones were simply not compatible with the call blocker, the equipment stopped the phone and internet connection from working at all or that when calls could be received, no nuisance calls were stopped.
Analysis of Mr. Ward-Best’s accounts showed that over the course of the scam he withdrew £424,000 in cash, with a further £44,100 directly transferred into his personal current account.
Following a hearing at Bournemouth Crown Court on Tuesday 12th September 2017, Ward-Best’s benefit from his criminal activity was put at £582,529.98. A confiscation order for the sum of £128,950 was made against him and he was given 3 months in which to pay or face 2 years imprisonment.
John Jacobs from the National Trading Standards South West Regional Investigations Team said:
“We are pleased that Mr. Ward-Best has been ordered to pay a significant six-figure sum under the Proceeds of Crime Act. National Trading Standards, alongside Bournemouth Trading Standards, has worked hard to bring Mr. Ward-Best to justice, securing a five year prison sentence.
This further decision ensures that Mr. Ward-Best will not profit from his crimes. We hope this will send a resounding message to others who may be engaging in similar frauds that crime does not pay and that National Trading Standards will work tirelessly to tackle criminal activity.”
Notes to Editors
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Notes to editors
About National Trading Standards
- National Trading Standards provides leadership influence, support and resources to help combat consumer and business detriment locally, regionally and nationally
- The National Trading Standards Board is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board has been set up by the Government as part of changes to the consumer protection landscape and an enhanced role for trading standards.
- National Trading Standards teams are based within local authority trading standards services
- For more information please visit www.nationaltradingstandards.uk