Hull double glazing salesman conned customers out of thousands
A DOUBLE glazing salesman has been jailed after conning customers.
Stephen Beet, 54, ran two firms despite being banned after he went bankrupt, leaving £630,000 of debts to customers and traders while trading as Trade Frames Hull Ltd.
He created two firms with similar names, Trade Frames and UPVC Trade Frames Ltd, undercut his competitors’ quotes and took more than £23,000 in deposits from customers for windows and conservatories, without carrying out the work.
Jailing him for 14 months, Recorder Mark McKone told Beet: “This was a persistent and dishonest fraud over a period of three years.
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“This has led to a lot of people losing money and it is impossible to avoid prison.”
Hull Crown Court heard customers, all from Hull, repeatedly challenged Beet after paying him deposits for work to begin.
Although Beet gave them dates for the work to start, builders never arrived.
One woman paid him a £2,000 deposit for work. When workmen failed to show up, Beet told her she needed to pay him a further £5,000, which she did.
But no work was ever carried out and she faced the cost of paying for another company to carry it out.
When the company wound up, Beet also owed £77,000 to suppliers and £70,000 to his bookkeeper.
Trading Standards officers in Hull received 11 complaints from customers and Beet was finally charged with fraud.
He was jailed after pleading guilty to fraud and has also been disqualified from running a company for ten years.
Recorder McKone said said: “You became good at making excuses.
“Customers endured months of misery waiting for you to do work.
“You made many excuses, including blaming a colleague for stealing money.
“Trading Standards received many complaints.
“They visited you and you promised to carry out the outstanding work but that was never done.”
The court heard Beet created his first company, Trade Frames Ltd, in 1996 but ten years later it went into liquidation, leaving debts to customers and suppliers of £630,000.
Under the Insolvency Act, he was prohibited by law from creating a company with a similar name for a period of five years.
In 2007, Beet set up as a sole-trader under the name Trade Frames. He ran it for 16 months and in December 2007, he set up UPVC Trade Frames with his former bookkeeper.
Beet convinced her he was doing it as a “reward” for her services, although he owed her £40,000, which ultimately had risen to £70,000 by the time the firm was wound up.
In 2008, he was declared bankrupt yet, throughout 2009, he conned customers out of thousands of pounds of deposits.
‘Persistent and dishonest fraud’: Steve Beet, of Trade Frames Hull Ltd has been jailed for 14 months.