Cornwall council has confirmed that it’s to use the Proceeds of Crime Act to try to win compensation for victims of two crooked and jailed lettings agents.
Elizabeth Ann Treneer, of Perranwell Station in Cornwall, admitted running Premier Property Management as a fraudulent business designed to deprive its victims of rental and deposit payments; she also admitted having tried to undermine the criminal investigation by manufacturing false documents.
Her mother, Angela Colleen Treneer, 72, of Mylor Bridge elsewhere in the county, admitted abusing her position of trust by failing to ensure that deposit and rental payments were properly safeguarded and passed on to customers.
The investigation found that since 2009 more than 40 people had been defrauded by the business with losses exceeding £266,000. Elizabeth Ann Treneer was sentenced to 40 months in prison, and her mother to 20 months in prison.
Now councillor Sue James, Cornwall council’s cabinet member for the environment and public protection, says: “The time, effort and dedication involved in bringing this fraudulent business before the Courts cannot be underestimated. Both offenders lied to the investigating officers in the same way as they had been lying to their clients for almost 10 years.
"Many of the victims were vulnerable, either because of their age, their financial position or because they were working far from Cornwall and these two women took full advantage of that. In handing down such penalties, the Court has clearly recognised the despicable nature of the offending in this case.”
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, compensation for those who have lost money to the fraudulent business will now be sought.