Odyssium

Private Investigator To Trace Fraudulent Builder,,,

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Hello folks!!!!
I am looking for a private investigator who can trace a builder who has defrauded my family of a large amount of money. All we really have is his website, phone numbers and bank details. Unfortunately the PI business is also full of cowboys. Can anyone recommend a good investigator who can do this sort of work?
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A search on company’s house should give you a business address 

useally his accountants office  

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4 minutes ago, Odyssium said:

No, nothing there, not listed.

 

If it's not listed as a registered company, then I suspect it's going to be pretty challenging to get any sensible recompense.  A look at the characters that regularly appear on some investigative TV shows gives an indication as to how challenging it can be to track sole traders or people just trading with no form of registered business, can be.  Sadly the building industry seems to have more than it's fair share of "rogue traders", probably second only to the way the used car business used to be, perhaps.

 

I hate to say this, but you may find that employing a good private investigator might be just chucking a load more money away without any realistic prospect of recompense for the loss already suffered.  Many years ago a friend had his car severely damaged, whilst it was parked outside his house.  He didn't have fully comprehensive insurance, so had to track down the hit-and-run driver who'd caused the damage to try and get payment for the damage.  This was the easy bit, as it turned out to be the village policeman's son, who was driving a car without any insurance.  He took him to court (when he refused to pay for the damage) and won his case.  The policeman's son was on benefits, so the court ordered that he should pay the damages off at £5 a week.  Needless to say he defaulted, and was taken to court again.  Each time he made one or two payments then defaulted again.  In the end my friend just stopped going back to court, as it was costing him more money in chasing the debt owed than he was ever likely to get back.

 

If you track this person down, you may find that you end up in a similar position, where there is no money to be claimed aback and attempts to do so will end up being protracted and ultimately to no benefit.

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Maybe, but there is a possibility that he owns property - after all he is a builder - in which case maybe we could successfully sue him. Also, I believe that there has been recent changes in the law that make it harder for such people to hide or transfer their assets, or declare bankruptcy just to avoid being sued. But thanks for your reply JSHarris, I will consider your points.

 

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1 minute ago, JSHarris said:

 

If you track this person down, you may find that you end up in a similar position, where there is no money to be claimed aback and attempts to do so will end up being protracted and ultimately to no benefit.

 

Unfortunately even when the individual has a registered company and doesn’t move house there seems to be little anyone can do to get any money back. There is a guy up here who sets a company up, takes money off people for kitchens and bathrooms and either fails to deliver or the work is of a shocking quality. He then sets up a new company with a similar name and dissolves the previous one. Those who have tried to take him to court have been told that he has no assets, not even a vehicle, so they end up with nothing. 

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2 minutes ago, Odyssium said:

Maybe, but there is a possibility that he owns property - after all he is a builder - in which case maybe we could successfully sue him. Also, I believe that there has been recent changes in the law that make it harder for such people to hide or transfer their assets, or declare bankruptcy just to avoid being sued. But thanks for your reply JSHarris, I will consider your points.

 

 

You may be right, and I really do wish you luck, getting caught be a rogue is pretty stressful.  I've been lucky and never been stung for a significant amount of money, but do know people that have been, and it seems that often these rogues operate as @newhome has suggested.  By their very nature these people are crafty, and may well not have any assets in their name.  Also, going after someone's assets, assuming you track them down, take them to court, and get a judgement against them, may well recover only a fraction of the amount. 

 

It would be good to see consumer law tightened up to stop the sort of repeat-offender behaviour that's often seen by these unscrupulous people, but there seems to be very little that has been done over the past few decades that's made any real difference.  I can remember seeing Watch Dog reporting on just this sort of thing around 30 years ago, and we still have the same sort of fraud being reported in programmes like Rogue Traders today, so little seems to have changed.

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Our driveway man turned out to be one of these...we started to pursue him knowing that he was a wily character and would likely just put his company into liquidation.  Thats exactly whats happened and liquidators fees vastly outweigh any assets so only people who get any money are the liquidators as per.  I am determined this man will not get away with this (we now know this is not the first time) and do it again to anyone else.......list of about 10 people like us as creditors. I hope I can get him banned from being a director of a ltd company again plus letting as many in the county as possible know his personal name so if he pops up under another company name people will recognise him. Won’t get me my money or drive sorted but damned if I will let this one get away with it, had a long line of stetson wearers on this build so a lot of angst to disspiate and he is the one to get it...and he deserves it.

 

@Odyssium if you think he owns property you know a bit about him...presumably you have been down the trading standards/local councillors route....that leaves you the TV expose programmes, or ask your lawyers if they can recommend a reputable enquiry agent to do some background digging on him.....might cost you £500 or more for a report though and even that may not be much use to you.

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Thanks for your advice lizzie. What TV programmes would you recommend pursuing?

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1 hour ago, Odyssium said:
Hello folks!!!!
I am looking for a private investigator who can trace a builder who has defrauded my family of a large amount of money. All we really have is his website, phone numbers and bank details. Unfortunately the PI business is also full of cowboys. Can anyone recommend a good investigator who can do this sort of work?
  •  

 

If you can prove the debt, you could get a CCJ (and you can probably serve it electronically), then enforce by requesting a Third Party Debt Order (may not be the exact name, but it is a normal if uncommon procedure) which will freeze his bank account, and make the bank pay you.

 

There are some wrinkles in the process (eg serving the freeze when the account is full).

 

To find him services such as Finder Monkey https://findermonkey.co.uk/ are commonly used.

 

These cost more than pin money though.

 

Ferdinand

 

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19 minutes ago, Odyssium said:

Thanks for your advice lizzie. What TV programmes would you recommend pursuing?

Have a look at what is on TV...be prepared to lose your privacy though

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My son used to work on Rogue Traders, setting up the recording equipment. Quite a few of the stings were a joint venture between BBC and Trading Standards, so the footage was used by both and shot to their specifications.

 

If the case with the OP is fraud it should be reported to police and Trading Standards, as it is a criminal offence. It would be best to present them with fully documented evidence to support the allegations.

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2 hours ago, Odyssium said:
Hello folks!!!!
I am looking for a private investigator who can trace a builder who has defrauded my family of a large amount of money. All we really have is his website, phone numbers and bank details. Unfortunately the PI business is also full of cowboys. Can anyone recommend a good investigator who can do this sort of work?
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what you need is a good contact in the under world 

someone who will give him a limp if he don,t pay up

that would better way to spend the money .LOL

 

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@Odyssium I had a £$%^&*^$£"$£%^&^* cowboy builder bugger up my concrete floor. Intention is also to take him to court once I have a final figure for corrective action. I've managed to locate him on social media so to some extent can track him via that. I guess you have tried doing that?

 

How did your family come across him? Via a word of mouth, internet? Perhaps if they re-trace their route they can track him down....and then potentially ask someone else to enquire with him about that house extension they are planning..."where shall we send the plans to? We don't do email and we shall be away next month so can get my friend to post the plans to you..."

 

There's also the electoral roll to reference. My cowboy has various addresses so if need be I plan to stake them out as I think a PI would do the same and charge through the nose to pretty much sit around and wait.

 

IIRC the small claims court route allows you up to 6yrs to make a claim after the event. So you have a bit of time. Unless @scottishjohn's contact get's there first. I know which route I am preferring. I may just have to PM John to see if any of your mates mates have a 'contact' in the south....

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We found him through his slick fraudulent website. All we have on him is his phone numbers, website and bank details. I have been told that this can be enough information to trace him.

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Posted (edited)

I share @JSHarris concerns regarding spending money chasing shadows. Perhaps more detail is required as to the circumstances would be useful.

Was it a simple case of money being paid up front on the promise of work which was never carried out? If so, then the case would be worthy of pursuing.

Or is it a case where work has been carried out but doesn't reflect the money paid? If so, this could be a touch more difficult. 

 

My personal experience of this type of behaviour goes back a number of years - In a former life, I arrested a builder on the basis of a fraud after a couple had been left with a part built extension. They had paid money up front and in advance of works. The building work wasn't fit for purpose and few other builders wouldn't take it on in its current state - they much preferred a complete knock down and restart. 

Bottom line was the builder claimed incompetence rather than anything criminal. He argued the money spent did represent the work carried out. Who was to argue this wasn't the case. Certainly the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service]  weren't interested.

Edited by Redoctober
typo
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5 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

then enforce by requesting a Third Party Debt Order (may not be the exact name, but it is a normal if uncommon procedure) which will freeze his bank account, and make the bank pay you.

 

It's also called a garnishee order (or it is in the English courts). The court can also put in place an attachment of earnings order that requires an employer to settle the debt as a third party. An attachment of earnings is not likely to be appropriate in the case of a rogue builder however as it cannot be put in place for the self employed or the unemployed, and you have to earn over a certain amount too which is based on how much you need to live on, or a 'protected' amount. 

 

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Hope you find him. I think you can kiss your money goodbye. In a former life i used to use a chinese fella. He was fantastic, had contacts in the police, BT,  Tax office, Post office, DHSS, Banks, Building Socs etc. He could find anybody in the Uk within 24 hours. He was a right crafty sod. He used to dig up serious dirt on people. If he couldn't get any dirt, he would set them up using prostitutes, drugs etc. Used to blag his way into any office building, or home. Once he had his dirt, photos etc, he would directly front up to the person and advise them that they had 7 days to pay or he would destroy there lives. Loss of job,, wife, kids etc. He was about 5ft 2 but some sort of kung fu expert. He got me back over a million from about 6 clients in a year. He charged 33% of monies recovered, and would only entertain cases in excess of 100k. Despite the fantastic results, the organisation i was involved with at the time, decided that he stepped over the line a couple of times and stopped me using him. I was introduced to him by a pimp, of high class London Hookers back in the early 80's who was also a large drug supplier to North London dealers. The pimp was a customer of the organisation i worked for at the time. The early 80's was Maggies "If you want it, go and get it" era. London was Madness.

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As above or you could write a polite letter...

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Mmm, I want something between the last two posts. A polite letter isn't gonna get me anywhere with this con-man (I've tried this), and unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I'm not involved in any sleazy underworld dealings,,,,, but who knows???

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1 minute ago, Odyssium said:

Mmm, I want something between the last two posts. A polite letter isn't gonna get me anywhere with this con-man (I've tried this), and unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I'm not involved in any sleazy underworld dealings,,,,, but who knows???

There is a lot you can find out online nowadays . Surprisingly loads.

That doesn t mean that this is the case with your example. But who knows.

Just PM me if you want .

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On 13/03/2019 at 16:00, scottishjohn said:

what you need is a good contact in the under world 

someone who will give him a limp if he don,t pay up

that would better way to spend the money .LOL

 

This worked for an aquatence, he went 50:50 on the money they got back.

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44 minutes ago, Triassic said:

This worked for an aquatence, he went 50:50 on the money they got back.

 

After they had done the jail time? 😉

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21 hours ago, Big Jimbo said:

Hope you find him. I think you can kiss your money goodbye. In a former life i used to use a chinese fella. He was fantastic, had contacts in the police, BT,  Tax office, Post office, DHSS, Banks, Building Socs etc. He could find anybody in the Uk within 24 hours. He was a right crafty sod. He used to dig up serious dirt on people. If he couldn't get any dirt, he would set them up using prostitutes, drugs etc. Used to blag his way into any office building, or home. Once he had his dirt, photos etc, he would directly front up to the person and advise them that they had 7 days to pay or he would destroy there lives. Loss of job,, wife, kids etc. He was about 5ft 2 but some sort of kung fu expert. He got me back over a million from about 6 clients in a year. He charged 33% of monies recovered, and would only entertain cases in excess of 100k. Despite the fantastic results, the organisation i was involved with at the time, decided that he stepped over the line a couple of times and stopped me using him. I was introduced to him by a pimp, of high class London Hookers back in the early 80's who was also a large drug supplier to North London dealers. The pimp was a customer of the organisation i worked for at the time. The early 80's was Maggies "If you want it, go and get it" era. London was Madness.

Jimbo, your last name isn't Kray is it?

 

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2 hours ago, Big Neil said:

Jimbo, your last name isn't Kray is it?

 

Defo not fella, although it might help me with the planners if it was. Believe it or not the organisation was Banking !!!!

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