Pair admit £1m house repairs con

Two men admitted swindling more than £1 million out of people by conning them into paying for costly and unnecessary building work to their homes when they appeared in court today.

Moses Mead, 25, and Christopher Latty, 38, preyed on elderly and vulnerable victims across Kent, London, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire between 2007 and this year, costing some of them their entire life savings with their fraud.



One of their victims, a man in his 60s from Bexleyheath, was tricked into handing over a total of £522,000 alone while an 82 year-old man from the Medway area was conned into paying them £230,000.



Ringleader Mead and courier Latty appeared at Maidstone Crown Court in Kent today, where the pair pleaded guilty to a string of crimes, a spokeswoman for Kent Police said.



The court heard how Mead would often return to his victims three years later ringing them and purporting to work for a firm dealing with other companies that had gone into liquidation.



He would claim that while having a clear out he had found a cheque made payable to the person in respect of remuneration for being overcharged for previous building work and to release the cheque he required a percentage - often thousands of pounds.



However the court heard that by using this trick, he inadvertently placed himself at the initial scene of the crime.



Mead, of Springhead Road, Northfleet, Gravesend, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation while Latty, of Victoria Street, Gillingham, admitted two charges of fraud by false representation.



Latty acted as courier and was dispatched by Mead to collect cash, often in carrier bags containing tens of thousands of pounds withdrawn from other people's bank accounts, the court heard.



The pair were arrested in Cambridge in January following an investigation by Kent Police's serious organised crime unit.



Detective Constable Paul Walker of Tonbridge CID said: "This was a lengthy and complex investigation that involved the gathering of evidence from across the south east of the country from a large number of elderly and vulnerable victims often in difficult and sensitive conditions.



"Many of the victims have lost their entire life savings and have been denied financial security in their twilight years because of one man's greed.



"All the victims were targeted due to their age and vulnerability in a most calculated and callous way. We will continue to work tirelessly to bring people who prey on the elderly and vulnerable like this to justice."



Detective Sergeant Keith Roberts of the serious organised crime unit, said: "Crimes like this are particularly distressing for all those involved because the victims are some of the most vulnerable in our communities.



"Kent Police is committed to tracking down and dealing with individuals who commit this type of despicable crime.



"I would like to thank the victims for their support in helping us prosecute those responsible and also those officers from the police and Trading Standards who worked so hard to put this case together.



"We will be asking the court for sentences that not only indicate the seriousness of the offences but seek to prevent anyone else attempting similar crimes.



"This type of crime remains rare, however if anyone suspects that such an offence may be occurring please contact police or Trading Standards and we will take action immediately."



The men were remanded in custody to be sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on July 9.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Voices
Ed Miliband and David Cameron are neck and neck in the polls
election 2015Armando Iannucci: on how British politics is broken
News
i100
Life and Style
Great minds like Einstein don't think alike
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power