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Rogue letting agent sentenced to four and a half years for conning landlords

An unscrupulous letting agent who conned landlords and tenants out of more than £220,000 has been sentenced to four and a half years in jail.

Martin Marcus, of Ashfield Avenue in Bushey, who pleaded guilty during his trial to five counts of fraud, often kept tenants’ deposits, provided landlords with undesirable tenants and failed to provide various tenants with accommodation even after putting down deposits that were never refunded.

“Tenants would hand over money to the property and that money would disappear into the business,” said Gordon Menzies, speaking for the prosecution.


He added: “The company assured clients it would put their money in a ‘ring-fenced client account’ but if you look at this ‘client account’, it was used for coffee shops, underground stations, EasyJet tickets, transactions made in Spain and Virgin Active memberships.”

Marcus worked for the once named Churchill Residential letting agents in Barnet, north London. The company’s name has changed numerous times and has included Corporate Relocations, A&A Properties, Churchill Residential, JMJ Residential LTD, and Anthony Grant.

Marcus, who allegedly introduced himself as Geoffrey Lewis to customers, stood trial alone after four of his former employees were found not guilty at a separate trial.

Yasmin Patel for the defence argued Marcus had a multi-personality disorder and had ongoing addictions to alcohol, drugs and food.

But the judge wasn’t having any of it, and sided with the landlords and tenants that had lost vast amounts of money. 

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