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Graham Awards


Rogue letting agent jailed after taking rents, deposits and wages

A letting agent who fled Britain to India, leaving landlords and tenants out of pocket and his staff’s wages unpaid, has been jailed for 20 months. 

The Guardian group of newspapers says Manish Manek was detained when he tried to re-enter the UK last autumn.

From 2008 to 2012 he owned Je Je Barons agency in Kingston. he reportedly told staff in October 2012 he was going into hospital for liver surgery, but he then apparently disappeared and wages went unpaid. Creditors also complained to police that Manek had not paid them.

It transpired that Manek had in fact sold his house, owed £18,500 to staff and creditors and had stolen over £47,000 from clients by banking landlords' and tenants' deposits and rents into his personal account instead of a deposit protection scheme.

Back in 2012 a local newspaper, the Surrey Comet, reported that a message had been left in the Je Je Barons office window stating: "There have been many allegations made, which have been investigated by Kingston CID and proven false and our solicitors are currently dealing with the matter. All staff have been dismissed in this context due to improper behaviour and dishonesty."

  • Oliver Wharmby

    Another article which highlights the need for compulsory CMP! http://www.lonsdaleib.com/our-business/chartered-surveyors-property-professionals/

  • icon

    I'm not so sure without change the insurance sector would be willing to underwrite risk which appears to be so easy to embezzle clients money.
    The "insured" Tenancy deposit scheme which allows agents/landlords to become custodians without any checks or balances is a recipe for disaster as shown in this and many historical cases. Currently £2.3billion is held in such schemes - who's knows how much of that money has been used/stolen?


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