The great kitchen robbery! £60K fine and prison for fraudster
23 July 2019
- Fraudster made fortune marketing kitchens and bathrooms he had no intention of providing
- He bullied victims when they became suspicious and faked his own testimonies
- Excuses for incomplete work included a warehouse flood and blood clot
- Judge orders 98-week prison sentence, 150 hours of community service and pay £59,354 to Brent and Harrow Trading Standards.
A con artist who cooked up a scam to rob thousands of pounds from supermarket shoppers who wanted their dream kitchens or bathrooms has been ordered to pay a massive £59,354.00 penalty after a massive Trading Standards investigation. His punishment also includes a 98-week prison sentence and 150 hours of community service.
Adahm Sheikh, who operated under "Amazing Kitchens" and "Home Improvement World", raked in more than £130,000 after touting for business in the foyers at Tesco stores including in Brent Park, Harrow and Watford. The heat was on for the 50-year-old scammer from Luton as he failed to deliver their kitchens and bathrooms. His excuses as to why little or no work was carried out included a warehouse flood, being hit on the head with a cricket ball and a blood clot.
His criminal venture didn't just stop there. Sheikh went to extreme lengths to make his business sound reputable by faking customer testimonies. When his customers grew more and more suspicious, he began to threaten them.
This fraudster fleeced his victims and left them without an amazing kitchen or bathroom. He tried every trick in the book to deceive his customers and despicably had the audacity to intimidate and threaten them when they began to question him. He even stooped so low as to fake reviews for his business.
Brent and Harrow Trading Standards with the National Trading Standards investigated more than 40 complaints across South East London. At Harrow Crown Court he was sentenced to a 98-week prison sentence, suspended for 2 years. He has been ordered to do 150 hours community service, pay Brent & Harrow Trading Standards costs of £59,354 and a statutory charge of £100.
Sheikh offered to take steps to refund £79,000 to customers following pleading guilty to the offences.
Cllr Tom Miller, Lead Member for Community Safety at Brent Council, said:
"Mr Sheikh's actions have caused his victims a huge amount of stress and heartache. As we've heard, in many cases, he was happy to take large sums of money from people expecting their dream kitchen and yet delivered nothing but a string of excuses and disappointment.
"This is the right outcome for those who have been left out-of-pocket and without the money to pay for replacement kitchens. I hope it sends a message to other rogue traders that we will not stand for it and we make sure they pay for their crime."
Her Honour H Rogers QC said:
"One cannot be failed to be impressed by the extent of the harm. To bring this case to justice took an enormous effort to customers, Mr Griggs [a victim/key witness] deserves credit to bring this matter to Trading Standards and the court. I acknowledge efforts of the Trading Standards team to bring the case to court, and applaud them."
Lord Toby Harris, Chair of National Trading Standards, said:
"Mr Sheikh deliberately defrauded customers out of thousands of pounds and then used intimidating scare tactics to threaten them when they quite rightly complained. His actions were reprehensible and I am pleased that he is now facing the justice he so richly deserves.
"National Trading Standards will not hesitate to bring to justice those who defraud consumers. People who suspect they may have fallen victim to similar crimes should report it to trading standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06."