Rogue Plumber Ordered To Repay Proceeds Of Crime

  • Central Bedfordshire Council’s financial investigation team has successfully obtained a confiscation order at Leicester Crown Court of over £1.4m, including assets of £88,000 and £42,000 victim compensation, after a rogue plumber was convicted of fraud last year.

The Council's investigator team presented a report to Leicester Crown Court earlier this month after Russell Canfield and seven others were convicted of fraudulent trading. This report outlined the overall criminal benefit made from various offences and identified any assets that could be confiscated.

As a result of this work, the council receives 18.75% of the money recovered from the investigation, which is then invested back into Central Bedfordshire Council services. This case was significant as it was part of an investigation shown on BBC Watchdog that saw 157 people scammed into giving up their own money. If the money is not recovered within three months, then Russell Canfield will receive a one-year extension to his sentence.

Financial investigator, Philip Richards, said, “These people particularly targeted elderly and vulnerable residents, who said they often felt threatened to make payments, and various trading names were used to disguise the real company behind the plumbing work.

“When BBC Watchdog carried out the investigation, they requested jobs to be fixed that should have cost no more than £100, but the residents were being charged up to £768. One of the most satisfying parts of my role is to see justice being carried out for people who have been exploited in this way.”

Central Bedfordshire Council Executive Member for Community Services, Cllr Ian Dalgarno, said: “This criminal gang were set on taking money from people in their local community and have paid a high price for their actions. I’m glad that after a lengthy and detailed investigation, we’ve been able to recover victim compensation within the confiscation order, enabling people to get the money back that they lost. The money we receive from this investigation helps us fund these investigations and stop crime across England.”