Tuesday 9 August

A local businessman has been sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for a year following an investigation by Sheffield City Council’s Trading Standards into his fraudulent trading.

Lucien Nicholas Carter, of Frickley Road, Sheffield pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation in May, and was sentenced yesterday (Monday 8 August) at Sheffield Crown Court.

Trading standards began an investigation in 2014 after complaints were made about Carter’s business, Carters Quality Painters and Decorators, formally of Oakbrook Road and Sharrow Vale Road, Sheffield.

In February 2014, Carter had quoted for work in excess of £19,000 for a firm of solicitors based in Rotherham and in March received a deposit advance of £10,000.

Although work was still to start on the office renovation he then demanded a further payment of £4,300. When work eventually started in July 2014, managers at the law firm became concerned when Carter’s employees were going to local shops to purchase materials.

Challenged about where the deposit money had been spent, Carter falsified an invoice from a trade supplier, to claim he had purchased more than £9,000 of materials. None of the materials had been bought and the law firm were misled into paying an additional £3,600 believing the work would soon be completed.

Judge Recorder Kramer said Carter’s offending met the custody threshold but said he would suspend the six-month prison sentence for twelve months.

He ordered Carter to carry out two hundred hours of unpaid community work during the period of his suspended sentence.

Additionally, the judge set out a timetable enabling Sheffield Trading Standards to proceed with a financial investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Councillor Bryan Lodge, Cabinet Member for Environment at Sheffield City Council said:
“The Trading Standards team has again demonstrated our commitment to tackling rogue trading, protecting local residents and businesses from aggressive and fraudulent trading.

“We are grateful to all those who came forward to provide evidence during the investigation and would encourage people to report incidents, whatever their concerns, so we can take action whenever possible.”

People with concerns or suspicions about a scam, rogue trader or fraudulent business activity can report those concerns to Sheffield Trading Standards at 0114 2736290 or Trading.standards@sheffield.gov.uk, or on the Citizens Advice Helpline on 03454 040506.