A husband and wife who ran a Long Eaton mobility firm have admitted conning elderly and vulnerable victims out of more than £40,000.
Amarjit and Ranjit Gill from Giltbrook pleaded guilty to 25 charges of fraud totalling £42,515 last Wednesday as a three-week trial was about to start.
David Messom, 27, of Kimberley, and Samuel Routh, 26, of Chilwell, who were employed by the Gills as managers, also admitted to nine fraud charges and eight fraud charges respectively.
Derbyshire County Council’s Trading Standards team said the two-year investigation was its biggest ever.
Graham Morgan, from the team, said: “We are dealing with a company that by its very nature sets out to sell to elderly and vulnerable people.
“In cases like that we always try to do that bit more to make sure people don’t get ripped off.
“It’s satisfying that, after our investigation and the evidence we have gathered, that these people have admitted what they have done.”
The firm, which ran from Gainsborough Business Park in Long Eaton was originally known as ABM Mobility but changed its name to Virgo and then Lifestyle.
Staff sold mobility aids including reclining chairs, orthopaedic beds and walk-in showers to elderly buyers – from across Derbyshire and as far away as Gloucester – through home visits after ‘cold calling’ them.
Some of the victims were not given their money back despite cancelling the orders during the legal seven-day ‘cooling off’ period, given to anyone who agrees a contract in their home.
In the worst cases, the goods were not even delivered, leaving them significantly out of pocket and without the mobility aids they had paid for.
County councillor Kevin Parkinson said: “Our successful investigation and prosecution should send out a clear message that we will not tolerate crimes of this nature.”
All four fraudsters will be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on September 28, when they could be handed prison sentences.