Suffolk furniture boss 'swindled' £82k from vulnerable victims
The director of a furniture company has been found guilty of "swindling" vulnerable customers out of £82,000.
David Waters, 71, of Manwick Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk was the sole director of Anchor Mobility, whose products were largely aimed at elderly and disabled people.
Collectively he and the company were found guilty of 16 offences, including fraudulent trading and misleading customers with the promise of goods.
He will be sentenced on 19 December.
Waters pleaded not guilty to all counts, but was convicted following a three-week-trial at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday.
He "swindled tens of thousands" from elderly, vulnerable and disabled people, Judge Emma Peters said.
One victim paid more than £8,000 for two bespoke beds, but they were never delivered and no refund was ever given.
Waters was found guilty of offences including fraudulent trading, engaging in unfair commercial practices, 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 there could be dozens more who made payments to Anchor Mobility without ever receiving goods.
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."