'Old-fashioned' conman took £14k in scam
AN "old-fashioned con-man" who swindled £14,000 out of people for fake Criminal Records Bureau checks has had his sentence deferred.
Kenneth McKeon, of Milehouse Road, pleaded guilty to nine counts of fraud after duping members of the public and businesses into parting with money for fake CRB checks and repair jobs that never happened.
The 43-year-old fraudster appeared yesterday for sentence at Plymouth Crown Court.
The court heard how McKeon had pretended to Krisis Kids, the children's charity, that he had a disabled child so he could get involved with the organisation.
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He claimed he could carry out CRB checks for Krisis Kids volunteers and made £30 for each check which never materialised.
He then managed to persuade the director of Krisis Kids to pay another £930 for the checks, which never existed.
The court heard how he possessed notepaper, collection boxes and other material from the charity for fraudulent use.
The court heard how he also set-up a thermal roofing company, RKM Home Care Ltd, and took money for repair jobs that never happened.
The trickster also admitted fraudulently ordering equipment from stationary firms which he never paid for.
He also obtained an office space but failed to pay rent over several months using a string of excuses including that he was battling prostate cancer which, the court heard, was a lie.
McKeon further fraudulently bought car insurance but in truth he didn't obtain a driver's license making the purchase illegal.
Defence counsel Robert Linford said: "My client is what you would describe as an old-fashioned con man, but he has turned a corner."
He told the court how a well-known double glazing firm had offered him work after working with him at an employment road show designed to help offenders find work after leaving prison.
McKeon had helped organise the road show through HMP Exeter where he'd served time, the court heard.
But Lee Swain told the court how the firm he worked for was keen to take on McKeon as someone who could "advise customers about double-glazing".
Judge Paul Darlow described him as a "serial fraudster" but said his "behaviour inside" had "impressed" him.
He deferred McKeon's sentencing until April 26 2013 to see if he could keep up his good behaviour. He told him if he "messed up" he would imprison him for two years. He said: "I expect to see a significant amount of the money you earn go back to those you swindled."