Men sentenced after Stevenage targeted in nationwide battery fraud
- Credit: Archant
Four men have been sentenced for their involvement in a £100,000 industrial battery fraud scheme.
Ryan Brazil, 24, Martin Goodwin ,27, Ronnie Smith, 26, and Carl Brazil, 18, targeted scrap metal dealers across the UK - including one in Stevenage in April 2012.
The men, all of Minsterworth in Gloustershire, were involved in a wide-ranging fraud, dating between September 2009 and July 2013, posing as contractors to steal waste industrial batteries.
Once the batteries had been stolen, the four then travelled to a variety of scrap metal dealers selling the stolen merchandise – again posing as genuine contractors.
Detective Sergeant Anthony Jones, of British Transport Police’s National Metal Theft Team, said: “These batteries were then taken to scrap metal dealers who, acting in good faith, paid money to a group of men they thought were acting on behalf of bona fide contractors.
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“In many cases the four also made sure they carried waste consignment notes and waste carrier licenses. As a result of the four-year offending spree, the four men defrauded a number of industries and companies of at least £100,000, though the true level of their offending is probably much higher – our investigation revealed the offenders managed to steal hundreds of batteries from a variety of sources including rail equipment, power companies, cars and forklift trucks.”
Goodwin was sentenced to 16 months in custody. Smith was given a 10-month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, plus 200 hours community service. Ryan Brazil was given a six-month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, plus 200 hours community service. Carl Brazil was sentenced to a 12-month community order and an 80-hour skills programme requirement.
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