Rogue estate agent jailed for three years

Lee Clark

An unscrupulous estate agent who conned clients out of more than £180,000 has been jailed for three years.

Lee Clarke, of Park Corner in Windsor, admitted 18 charges against him including defrauding 31 clients of Berkshire Estate Agents, including landlords and tenants.

Thames Valley Police said the 42-year-old, described as ‘aggressive and threatening’, scammed clients to the sum £182,047.63, between 18 September 2013 and 12 December 2018.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Luke Simms of the Thames Valley Police Economic Crime Unit, said: “Lee Clarke started a company called Berkshire Estate Agents Limited in Windsor Road, Slough.

“No-one else employed by the company was involved in Clarke’s crimes, which took place between September 18, 2013 and December 12, 2018. During that period, he defrauded a total of 31 clients, both tenants and landlords, to the sum of £182,047.63.

“Clarke knowingly collected rent from tenants but then deliberately chose not to pass on this rent to landlords. Clarke also deceived his clients by failing to protect deposits collected from tenants as part of a deposit protection scheme, as stipulated by tenancy agreements and as required by law.

“During 2018, a number of landlords and tenants reported concerns regarding Berkshire Estate Agents Limited to Slough Trading Standards.”

Following a police investigation, Clarke was brought before the courts and pleaded guilty to 17 counts of fraud by false representation and one count of Section 993 of the Companies Act 2006, to carry on business of company with intent to defraud creditors or for other fraudulent purpose.

Reading Magistrates’ Court

That hearing was held last month. He was sentenced at Reading Magistrates’ Court last Friday to three years in prison, and has been disqualified from being a director of any company for six years.

Detective Constable Simms added: “Our joint investigation uncovered the effects Clarke’s criminality, both in terms of the serious financial harm to his 31 victims, but also the fear which Clarke instilled in them, with many of his victims describing Clarke as someone who was aggressive and threatening when clients made complaints.

“The sentence will be a relief to many of the victims in this case and should provide reassurance to the public and community of Slough that those who commit fraudulent crimes using a business will be brought to justice.”

Reflecting on this case, Peter Adshead, principal trading standards officer for Slough Borough Council, commented: “This has been a complex and lengthy investigation where many Slough residents were victims of this man and the agency.

“The evidence was meticulously collected by the Trading Standards team and handed over to the police to assist with a successful prosecution. Cooperation with the police continued throughout the investigation.

“We hope this sentence will remind business owners that failure to comply with legislation will be investigated and brought before the courts where necessary. Landlords and tenants expect their money to be legally protected and monies handed over promptly.”


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  1. PossessionFriendUK39

    Good to see the Police actually  taking action against Fraud  (  most of which they ‘write off’  !  )

    This criminal is one of a very small number that gives the industry a bad name –  so clink is the best place for him.

    1. PeeBee

      You might want to revise that opinion on the back of this comment from an EYE article penned by our much-missed former Landlady, Frau Renshaw, which was published almost three years ago, PossessionFriendUK39
      “Hi DASH94, I was one of those landlords who were defrauded by Lee Clarke and Berkshire Estate Agents Ltd.  Luckily I submitted my formal complaint to the TPO last year and after over a year of waiting, received the money owed. 
      The practice of defrauding Landlords had been ongoing for years.  Trading Standards were not interested and neither were Action Fraud or the Police. The TPO were unable to take action until he stopped paying awards.  Now they’ve taken action. In this case, the weight of evidence behind the customer reviews has resulted in some momentum; finally. Sadly this is too little too late for some Landlords, who are still out of pocket to the tune of £thousands.”
      The odious individual has been banned from being a director of any firm for six years – but NOTHING it would appear from NTSELAT in the form of a Banning – or even a Warning – Order being issued.
      Funny, that…

      1. PossessionFriendUK39

        NTSELAT  are a Govt set-up,  so say no more.  Another useless quango.

        If NTSELAT  were anywhere near effective,  everyone would hear much more about their enforcement and they should have cleaned up the industry by now.

  2. AcornsRNuts

    Three years is a very light sentence given the amounts involved. Works out at £60682.54 per year – who said crime doesn’t pay?

    1. PeeBee

      It seems crime has had a 9.4% pay rise since we last saw a report – Roger Darnton got two years for £110k in 2019 (credit: Frau Renshaw)

    2. smile please

      Not excusing him but he would not pocket the money. Proceeds of crime will recover anything they can and if not enough in place to fully repay they will go after the rest plus interest.


      Still not great for the victims but at least he will not profit.

      1. PossessionFriendUK39

        …  Proceeds of crime will  ”  Recover what they  CAN  ”  being the operative words ( in capitals ) The premeditated Rogues ensure that assets are in others names.
        Not to mention the £50 K per year cost of keeping a prisoner in jail.


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