A gang of four men, who called themselves “The Wolves of Wind Street”, have been jailed for a total of over 12 years for perpetrating a major telemarketing scam which conned customers out of £425,000 in four months.
Sentencing the four, Judge Geraint Walters said the group had “got a taste for the high life”. Kyle Lewis, Darren Palmer and David Alford, who were all directors of Renewable Energies Centre Ltd and REC Home Audits, were jailed for three years and seven months. Compliance manager Jason Cunliff will serve 18 months.
Swansea Crown Court had heard that staff at the company cold-called potential customers – specifically targeting vulnerable pensioners – to offer them “free” boilers under a “Government scheme” with an upfront fee of £299 or £399.
But, of the 1,200 people who paid the fee, only three received boilers. Even then, the three customers, who were all elderly, did not get their boiler free of charge, as they were unwittingly signed up for monthly payments lasting 12 years.
In text messages they referred to their victims as “pension-rich suckers”, and spent the money they took from them on a “champagne lifestyle”, buying sports cars and drugs, and lavishing their staff in the clubs and pubs of Wind Street, Swansea.
The court also heard that the gang was looking to expand into PPI cold calling when their officers were raided by Trading Standards in July 2015.
The men were convicted of conspiracy to defraud earlier this month.
Judge Walters said the group had deliberately targeted older people, who were viewed as softer targets, and “got a taste of the high life”. He added: “Your sales team showed themselves to be shamelessly untruthful, but were very good at getting customers to part with their money.”
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