Local estate agent cheated couple

Barnard Marcus employee admits deception

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A local estate agent has been order to do 140 hours community service as a result of a deceiving a couple out of £1,600.

Amandeep Cheema was working at the Acton office of Barnard Marcus when he committed the deception. He pretended to be letting out a two bedroom house off Little Ealing Road. The property was actually up for sale but the owners had no connection with Cheema.

He placed an advertisement which a couple searching for a home answered by phone. They reached a man claiming to be Kieron Massey an IT consultant, who the court heard was in fact Cheema. He showed the couple round the property and later met his victims in a bar where he asked for £1,600 in cash to be handed over for the first's month's rent and a depost. As a precaution the couple took a photo of the man.

This proved to be invaluable as, when it became clear that they had been defrauded, the matter was reported to the police who then circulated the photo around local estate agents. One of Cheema's colleagues recognised the face in the photo. Initially he denied involvement but changed to a guilty plea as the case came up for trial. In his defence it was claimed he had become desperate for money after running up major debts.

He was order to pay costs and repay the stolen money as well as do community service. The court decided not to jail him to allow him to work to pay off his debts. He is currently working with an estate agent in the Hayes area.

November 10, 2004