Fraudster Jailed For Exploiting Families Using Fake Rent-To-Buy Scheme

A property fraudster that unjustly conned many trusting people out of their property deposits, worth thousands, has been jailed.

The 63-year-old con artist, Jonathan Mark Turner-Miller, pleaded guilty to the offence of fraud at Teesdie Crown Court.

Turner-Miller had set up a fake rent-to-buy scheme between 2011 and 2014, whilst he was a director of a property development business.

Having made the claim that he has extensive and considerable experience in the property market, 11 potential home buyers used his services in order to achieve their dream of acquiring their own property.

Claiming the scheme was government backed, Turner-Miller then asked the participants for a 5% deposit on a property.

The buyers were told that the money would be kept in a secure deposit account and would be returned upon the completion of the scheme. However, the fraudster was actually depositing the money into his personal account. The money was then used to fund his illicit lifestyle and service his debts.

For the severity of his crimes, Turner-Miller was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison and has subsequently been banned from taking on the role as director of a company for an additional decade.

Judge Ashurst, Sentencing Judge, stated: “the level of harm this fraud had caused was extremely great and had adversely affected the financial and emotional state of each victim, who are still suffering the effects of their financial loss and will feel the effects for years to come.”

DC Gary Smith-Owen, Investigating Officer for North Yorkshire Police, said: “This has been a lengthy and meticulous investigation which started back in 2014, so we are pleased with the sentence that was returned by the court.

“I hope this sends out a strong message to those who think they can con people out of their hard-earned savings and take advantage of people’s aspirations. If you are suspected of committing fraud, police will turn over every stone and analyse every detail of your business, in order to protect the vulnerable.”

Whilst it remains positive that some semblance of justice has been done, 11 families’ dreams of becoming home owners have been devastated by these events.

Are you aware of people that have been scammed in this way? Is there a way to ensure less people are targeted in the future?

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