One of the UK's most notorious property investment fraudsters has been jailed for six years after a court heard how he swindled investors out of �592,000.
42-year-old father of three John Keats-Ormandy persuaded eight people to invest in his scheme by claiming he had a portfolio of empty properties that needed to be refurbished to fulfil a contract with the Ministry of Defence to supply accommodation.
But it soon became evident that York-based Keats-Ormandy possessed neither and that he had no intention of fulfilling his part of the deal to generate income for his investors.
Several people entrusted their life savings with him and one of the victims was a cancer patient.
The case casts a light once more on the unregulated nature of the property investment sector within which fraudsters and rogue operators are free to make claims about their 'opportunities' without being registered, regulated or overseen '� unlike most other areas of financial activity.
During the trial Keats-Ormandy's barrister claimed his had not intended to defraud his victims but had instead '�got in too deep'.
The investors are expected to see only �100,000 in total returned to them following a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing later this year.
'It's great to see justice has prevailed,'� says Vanessa Warwick of Property Tribes.
'Keats-Ormandy has been on the community radar at Property Tribes for many years, and we have numerous threads on him concerning the various schemes he has run that have relieved investors of their money.
'In the absence of any formal regulation, community-generated due diligence and warnings are the thin line between consumer protection and financial loss.'�
This case follows last month's news that another fraudster, Sam Eustace, recently stole nearly �7 million from investors.
Pic credit: West Yorkshire Police