Kensington & ChelseaNews

Builder who stole £700K from resident and gambled it in casinos is jailed

By Adrian Zorzut, Local Democracy Reporter

A builder who defrauded a resident of £700,000 on a home refurbishment and gambled the money away in casinos has been jailed for four years.

Jimmy Lee, the sole director of Myint Construction Ltd, was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Friday and barred from being a company director for eight years after Kensington and Chelsea council took him to court.

The court heard how Lee used fabricated references to win a building contract in February 2018 and went on to issue false invoices. It also heard how Lee took the client to visit a property where he had not in fact worked as part of the ploy.

The builder also received cash to pay subcontractors into his personal account which he told the client was a business account. He spent a substantial amount of the cash in casinos instead of paying his workers and submitted fraudulent invoices to his client.

The builder pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraudulent trading but found guilty of all charges after a three-week trial.

The builder was also found to have given misleading timeframes, leaving the South Kensington private property in disrepair and unfinished.

Kensington and Chelsea council’s Trading Standards officers began investigating Lee following a tip off in 2020. They are now considering other cases involving Lee.

Kensington and Chelsea councillor Cem Kemahli, lead member for planning and public realm, said: “Cheating our residents won’t go unpunished and this charlatan has rightfully been prosecuted for defrauding their client. This action is a signal to all other fraudulent operators that we won’t hesitate to take action.

“Our Trading Standards team have worked tirelessly whilst investigating one of the biggest cases in the borough, work which took almost three years. Let this show that we will continue to protect residents and stop unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices as we work to create a safer and fairer borough.”

Pictured top: Kensington town hall (Picture: Hannah Neary)

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