A letting agent who consistently failed to hand over rent he had collected on behalf of his landlords has been jailed for 2 years after pleading guilty to abusing his position.
Bola Adeyoola, 57, of Goughs Barn Lane, Bracknell, who defrauded a landlord couple out of £60,000 accepted in court that he owed them the money.
Adeyoola is now the subject of a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) investigation to identify assets which can be used to pay back his victims.
The fraud relates to three properties in Slough which the landlord couple let out through a letting agent known as Sterling, based in Windsor Road, Slough, between 2002 and 2003.
In 2004 Adeyoola informed the couple that he had taken over the lettering agency and would be dealing with their properties from then on. In 2005 after the couple had added more properties to their portfolio Adeyoola informed them that the agency name was being changed to Graceview.
In 2006 four cheques paid to the couple from Adeyoola’s company for rent received had all bounced.
This had become a regular occurrence over a number of years follwing this, with Adeyoola blaming the bank and account changes for the errors.
Police said in the trial that the case became a very complex investigation over a number years as Adeyoola became increasingly deceptive and avoided all contact with the couple.
Commenting on the case, the police officer in the investigation, Detective Sergeant Ash Mohmood, said he was pleased for the victims who had found the whole process extremely draining both mentally and physically.
Commenting on the story, Tom Entwistle of LandlordZONE said:
“This case should be a warning to all landlords, that they should be just as thorough in checking out a letting agent as they should be when checking prospective tenants.”
“Anyone can set themselves up as a letting agent, so it’s important to check out their reputation and their company for financial security. Although all agents have to register with a redress scheme from this coming October, it is always safest to use an agent that’s a member of one of the recognised professional associations. Agents that are members of these bodies will have a recognised system of Client’s Money Protection in place.”
Letting Agent Jailed for Fraud – Landlords should tread very carefully when appointing letting agents… http://t.co/SI9JimPx2b
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) September 8, 2014