A Telford-based landlord has been charged for fraud and perverting the course of justice at Shrewsbury Crown Court.
Darren Stevens charged prospective tenants £1,000 for credit checks, telling them that he needed the money to check their credit history before they were allowed to rent his property.
However, despite taking their cash, Stevens never actually carried out the checks, instead pocketing the tenants cash. After making off with the money, Stevens explained to the tenants that they would be unable to take on the property due to irregularities that had come up on their credit check, and that he had offered the property to someone else.
In addition to his fraudulent behavior, Stevens also further compounded his fate by carrying out some of the credit checks in between his first and second police interviews, and falsifying the dates to try and illustrate that they had been carried out earlier.
He admitted seven counts of fraud and one charge of perverting the course of justice.
Judge Jim Tindal sentenced Stevens to six months in prison – but the sentence was suspended for a period of 12 months, and he will stay under supervision for 12 months.
He was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, and pay back the full amount of £1,000 to the victims as compensation and £500 court costs.
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