Suffolk 'swindling' furniture director jailed
A furniture company director who "swindled" vulnerable customers out of £82,000 has been jailed.
David Waters, 71, of Felixstowe, Suffolk, was sole director of Anchor Mobility, whose products were largely aimed at elderly and disabled people.
One victim paid more than £8,000 for two bespoke beds, but they were never delivered and no refund was ever given.
Waters was jailed for 32 months and the company fined a nominal £1,000 at Ipswich Crown Court.
Judge Emma Peters told the court that, while a financial investigation was under way, the firm had no money.
Waters, of Man wick Road, and the company were found guilty of 16 offences including fraudulent trading, multiple offences of misleading consumers by taking large deposits with the promise of delivering goods without doing so and failing to refund consumers.
The fraud was uncovered after several victims complained about the company to Suffolk Trading Standards.
Investigations revealed more than 20 victims between 2016 and 2017, but trading standards warned dozens more could have made payments to Anchor Mobility without ever receiving goods.
When Waters was convicted, senior trading standards officer Stuart Hughes said: "Anchor Mobility Limited and David Waters owed their customers a special duty of care, but instead caused vulnerable people great stress, anger and financial loss that they could ill afford."