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Cowboy builder jailed for fraud

A builder who conned suppliers by posing as an employee to get credit has been jailed for 16 months.

Two-time bankrupt Paul David Henstone was jailed by Warwick Crown Court and has also been disqualified from acting as a company director or managing a company for five years. He pleaded guilty to one count of acting as a director whilst bankrupt and three counts of fraud by false representation.

The court heard that on 24 November 2005, Henstone registered a company called Blackdown Construction Ltd and became a director. He was made bankrupt for a second time a year later.

On 14 March 2008, he registered a new company, Roc Construction and Roofing Ltd.To cover the fact he was a bankrupt he arranged for one of his employees to be appointed as a director without the employee’s knowledge.

Henstone then opened three credit accounts with suppliers in the employee’s name and pretended to be him. None of the suppliers were aware that they were dealing with Henstone and all believed they were dealing with a new director with no history of insolvency.

Henstone even signed a personnel guarantee whilst pretending to be the employee. Roc was wound up on 30 September 2008 with debts of over £15,000.

Deputy chief investigation officer Glen Wicks from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills said: “This man is a serial cowboy builder who for many years has created mayhem throughout the West Midlands and devastated the lives of many people.

“People who commit these types of offences need to know that BIS, the Insolvency Service and the courts will crack down on them severely”.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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