City of Wolverhampton Council hopes the jailing of a man for fraud will act as a strong deterrent in the fight to protect consumers in the city.

Harjit Singh Marwaha, of Bee Lane, Fordhouses, was sentenced at Stoke Crown Court on Friday after being found guilty in June of deceiving Wolverhampton residents while purporting to be a planning agent.

He was handed a 56 week custodial sentence, with at least half to be served in prison.

Mr Marwaha received 24 weeks for 4 counts of fraud by misrepresentation in relation to forged planning documents, plus 8 weeks for breach of his suspended sentence for a previous offence.

He was also given 8 weeks for 4 counts of not complying with Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, to run concurrently with the above.

In addition the Crown Prosecution Service prosecuted him for 2 further fraud matters, which he received 24 weeks for misrepresentation and six weeks for making an article to be used in fraud to run concurrently.

Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: "The council takes consumer protection very seriously and will always act to prosecute those who look to commit fraud against our residents.

"The unscrupulous should not be under any illusion; if you are perpetrating acts of fraud against consumers then you will be caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

The council's trading standards team acted after receiving 2 complaints, in March and July 2015, from residents who had handed money over to Mr Marwaha to progress building plans on their homes, believing he was a planning agent.

In June he was found guilty by Wolverhampton Magistrates Court of fraud by false representation, engaging in a commercial practice which is misleading, and knowingly or recklessly engaging in a commercial practice.

  • released: Tuesday 2 August, 2016