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as courier and was dispatched by Mead to collect cash, often in carrier bags containing tens of thousands of pounds withdrawn from other people's bank accounts, the court heard.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

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
peopleComedian's quip about Reeva Steenkamp was less than well received at music magazine awards
News
Cumberbatch spectacularly photobombs U2 at the Oscars
news
Life and Style
Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
food + drink

Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

News
Will menus with calorie counts really deter junk-food addicts from eating junk?
i100
Sport
Today's Liverpool Echo back page
football
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
i100
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
books
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?