A 24-year-old from Luton has been jailed after being found guilty of six counts of fraud in relation to obtaining properties with false documentation, converting the properties into HMOs and then letting them out pretending to be the landlord.
There were seven properties in total for which Moses Ogoe pretended to be landlord even while on court bail.
In obtaining the properties, he produced documents claiming to be a doctor, a security manager and a catering manager. In reality, Ogoe was a temporary security guard.
On a number of occasions, he evicted people without notice if they failed to pay an increase in rent immediately.
Throughout the investigation by a range of departments within Luton council, Ogoe allegedly refused to co-operate with officers, insisting he had done nothing wrong and that it was just a civil dispute.
However, on the first day of his trial, he changed his plea to guilty.
In sentencing Ogoe, his Honour Judge Kay QC told him: "You saw an opportunity to rent relatively sizable properties and sublet them to desperate individuals who needed somewhere to live. You were not providing a public service because you did this for greed. You defrauded them as you did not provide a genuine tenancy and the protection that would give”.
Ogoe had previously received a caution, relating to Housing Act offences in connection with the conditions at one of the properties.
Ogoe will now serve 16 months in prison and must pay £7,500 in costs. The court also ordered that the computers used to create the false documents be forfeited.
His sister, Rebecca Ogoe was given a conditional discharge as the judge felt her brother had manipulated her in this case.