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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71135
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi!A friend and I engaged a man I knew well who has ran a design

Customer Question

Hi!A friend and I engaged a man I knew well who has ran a design company for many years to completely refurbish a 2 bedroom flat that my friend bought about 2/14.We were very casual regarding the job.The job has been completed - in the main to our satisfaction.The problem is that the designer was paid sums of money by both of us - we didn't realise that each other was giving him money(!).He was also given £18,000 in cash by my friend - the money being a gift from her elderly Mother.No receipt was obtained for the cash that was handed over(!).It is only recently that we realised that the Designer has been paid a lot more money than the job should cost.He has come up with a statement of cost of the project which he has inflated from about 35000 to about 64000 and,clearly, is not acknowledging having received any cash.I was alerted to the situation by the man who actually did the work - who said he couldn't stand by and allow the designer to defraud us in this manner.I asked the designer for the invoices and two are complete fraudulent fabrications.So the money paid out by both of us amounts to about £77,000 - the real cost is about £35,000.I should add that the Designer was found guilty of fraud in 2010 and given a 2 year suspended sentance and 200 hours community service.Any ideas?! Thankyou for your help.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi,I think this man who I might add I have regarded as a friend for over 20 years will refuse to acknowledge that he owes me anything.He has,as I see it, defrauded me of nearly £40,000 .The man who did the work has identified 2 'receipts' as being forged documents.Should I go to police?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Did you agree a price in advance?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

thank you.

With regard to the forged documents, this is clearly attempted fraud although you may find that the police take the line of least resistance and say that this is a civil matter between you and the designer. However the fact remains that it is fraud. The police however may take more notice because of the previous conviction although because it was suspended for two years, it will only be taken into account with regard to the sentence that he receives if he is convicted again but will not be added to it. It will make any penalty more severe.

Under the Supply of Goods and Services Act, if no price has been agreed before the job starts, then the price must be reasonable. In order to ascertain what is reasonable I suggest that you get something from another designer in the form of a letter or a quotation explaining exactly how much the work that is being done should cost.

Armed with that, if he will then not refund however much you think he has overcharged, you are going to have to issue court proceedings against him and that a judge decide the matter. Whether you win or not will depend on how much evidence you have which confirms that he has been overpaid.

If he denies getting cash payments, if you have bank statements which show the money coming out of the bank on a regular basis, that will really help you.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thankyou very much for your advice.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile