Halesowen Shopkeeper Sentenced For Theft And Fraud

A Halesowen shopkeeper who conned a potential buyer of the business out of thousands of pounds has been ordered to carry out unpaid work and pay all of the money back as part of a £4,000 court bill.

Santok Singh Bahia, 53, tricked the money out of someone wanting to buy his shop G K News in Nimmings Road, Halesowen.

The court heard that Bahia advertised the shop for sale in February 2014 and a prospective buyer responded to the advert and a sale was agreed between them. Bahia took a deposit of £2,000 but failed to progress the sale and subsequently refused to return the deposit.

He was found guilty of theft, fraud by false representation and of acquiring, using or possessing criminal property at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court on 29 September, in a case brought by Dudley Trading Standards.

He was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and to repay the victim £2,000 as well as costs of £2,000 along with a £60 victim surcharge. 

“We are pleased the court recognised that this was a scam and that it is unacceptable to place an advert for sale, take money for it and then provide nothing in return.

"We always advise prospective purchasers to be wary of handing over any money without being provided with clear terms and conditions about cancellation and refunds. Always seek receipts and paperwork and, if intending to purchase leases or property, seek the appropriate professional advice.”


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