Heat pump fraudster jailed
UK: A rogue air-source heat pump installer, who conned members of the public out of more than £122,000, has been jailed for six years.
In some cases, Sacha Robert Louis Dixey of Bognor Regis failed to install the heat pump systems after receiving payments from his victims of between £14,000 and £17,000 and failed to refund deposits to those who cancelled within seven days.
West Sussex County Council Trading Standards launched an investigation after receiving almost 100 complaints about two companies Dixey was sole director of – Future Homes Energy Ltd and Nationwide Home Renewables Ltd, both of Cawley Priory, South Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex.
Neither companies were MCS members or RECC members, so none of their installations qualified for the RHI, the RHPP or any other government incentives. Despite this, Dixey promised many that the homeowner would be entitled to government grants.
Dixey, pleaded guilty to 31 counts under Fraud Act, Companies Act and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations from both Trading Standards and Sussex Police.
In addition to six years imprisonment, Dixey was banned from being a company director for 10 years by Judge Anthony Nibblett at Hove Crown Court at the beginning of the month. Dixey was also ordered to pay a £900 fine.
Even when Dixey was on bail in relation to the Trading Standards proceedings and his assets had been frozen, he continued to operate a fraudulent business.
He used various false names to return to his original victims and carry out further fraud, including targeting one blind man. Judge Niblett said his fraud against the blind man was “particularly cruel”, especially because Dixey had gone back to him a second time while on bail.