Cornwall

Mother and daughter letting agents jailed for £266k frauds

Elizabeth Ann Treneer
Image caption Elizabeth Ann Treneer also faked documents during the frauds

A mother and daughter letting agent team have been jailed for defrauding tenants and landlords out of £266,000.

Angela Treneer, 72, and Elizabeth Treneer, 38, retained sums of up £53,000 from about 40 victims.

The pair, who ran the Cornwall-based agency Premier Property Management, used the money maintain their lifestyles, Truro Crown Court heard.

Elizabeth was jailed for three years and four months and her mother Angela was jailed for a year and eight months.

Judge Robert Linford said it was "dishonesty on an industrial scale".

The offences took place between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2017.

Trading Standards officers began an investigation after "numerous complaints" about the Truro-based agency.

Many were made after it was highlighted in a BBC Inside Out investigation in 2017 looking into letting agents who raided money from tenants' deposit schemes.

The Treneers also withheld rents and used money meant for some landlords to pay others in a case of "robbing Peter to pay Paul", the court heard.

Image caption Premier Property Management was highlighted in a BBC investigation in 2017

Elizabeth partly used the money to take holidays and some of their victims were "particularly vulnerable", prosecutors said.

In mitigation, both of the women's legal teams said they were both of good character and planned to compensate their victims.

Angela Treneer, of Mylor Bridge and known as Colleen, pleaded guilty to fraud by dishonestly abusing her position.

Elizabeth Treneer, of Perranwell Station and known as Ann, admitted two counts of participating in a fraudulent business and perverting the course of justice over faked documents.

Applications have been made to retrieve the money under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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