Fraudster jailed for rental property scam

A property investment promoter has been jailed for tricking clients out of money on the pretence that it was to be used to refurbish rental properties.

Yorkshire fraudster John Keats-Ormandy, who had previously admitted the scam, was sentenced to six years and three months when appearing before Bradford Crown Court earlier this month.

Eight investors had been taken in by the scam, parting with £592,000, of which about £100,000 was paid back. Keats-Ormandy had told them he had rental contracts with the Ministry of Justice and that income from the investments was therefore guaranteed. In fact he did not own the properties he said would be rented out.

When one investor visited a house in Liverpool that Keats-Ormandy said was to be renovated, he found the owners in situ.

For Keats-Ormandy, barrister Andrew Hill said his client had not set out with the intention of defrauding investors although his increasingly complex arrangements had very quickly developed into fraud.

Recorder Alex Menary did not agree. He said Keats-Ormandy had taken other people’s money under false pretences, claiming he would invest it in properties in which he had no interest. He had been dishonest throughout. The money involved had been only part of the story and victim statements had revealed the serious detrimental effects of his actions.

Keats-Ormandy, who had no previous convictions, will serve at least half of his prison sentence and also faces a further hearing later this year under the Proceeds of Crime Act.