Bogus builder banged up for six years

Grant Prior 13 years ago

A cowboy builder has been jailed for six years for fleecing suppliers and customers after running a string of construction and property companies under a series of aliases.

Huntingdon Crown Court sentenced Richard Neil Grout to six years imprisonment for fraud; fraudulent trading; failing to cooperate with the Official Receiver (Northampton); perjury and acting as a director of a company whilst disqualified.

Grout, of Milton Keynes, also used the names Richard Van de Groot, Richard Van Der Grout; Richard de Grout; Richard Winters; Richard Van der Saar and Reuben Bilj.

He pleaded guilty to 12 criminal charges and admitted he ran a number of bent businesses including UIC Limited; Concourse Property Limited; Woburn Property Limited and Equus Areans Limited.

Grout claimed memberships of trade bodies including the Federation of Master Builders when no membership existed.

The court heard that Grout acted as director of a number of companies even though he was bankrupt and therefore disqualified from doing so.

He concealed his bankruptcy by using different names on company documents than the name the bankruptcy order was in. To provide appropriate proof of identity Mr Grout went to the effort of changing the names on his passport and driving licence several times.

Victims of Grout’s dodgy dealings:

UIC Limited was wound up in November 2006 owing:-

£51, 348.96 to The Inland Revenue; £1,184.50 to HM Revenue and Customs; £2,164.03 to Howden Joinery Limited; £241.13 to Viking Direct; £808.58 to Maskearaid Hygiene and Safety Products; DSGI Business £916.95; Lloyds TSB £3,660.12; Premiere People £3,319.14; 1st Choice Recruitment £3,832.30; Molins PLC £2,442.83; RBS Finsure £192.27; CCG Carpet Cleaners Limited £1,439.71; Total Hygiene Consultancy £2,396.41 and F1 Lining Limited £3,919.57.

Concourse Property Services Limited was incorporated in March 2007, again the witness signature on Companies House documents was forged. When the company was wound up in September 2008 on the petition of a construction plant hire company owed £9,256.39, the Official Receiver was unable to establish the number of creditors as Grout failed to attend meetings or provide adequate company records.

Woburn Property Limited applied to a plant hire company for a credit account and accumulated more than £25,000 worth of debt.

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