"She received a deposit of £1,500 for the rental in cash."
A charlatan, named as Preet Kaur Johal was caught trying to defraud a couple out of a deposit of £1,500, posing as an estate agent.
Wearing a green jumper, the 26-year-old represented herself at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court.
Police officers were called to the property in Huntingfield Road, Putney.
The couple, Alex Water and Aline Lima were shocked when the property’s real owners showed up and Johal’s cover was exposed.
During the arrest, it was discovered that she also had a driving licence in the name of ‘Saira Patel’ in her possession.
When the shocked owner demanded to know what was going on, Johal confessed to tricking the prospective tenants out of the cash.
Johal claimed she only went along with the plan to con prospective tenants out of £1,500 because ‘a friend of a friend’ had threatened to burn her house down if she didn’t.
Johal, of Burns Way, Hounslow, admitted one count of fraud by false representation and one count of possessing another person’s identity document in her guise as a fake estate agent.
Prosecutor Corran Helme said:
“There were two people contacted through Gumtree about renting a property.
“The defendant met the couple on two previous occasions including showing them around the property which didn’t belong to her nor was she instructed to show anybody around.
“She received a deposit of £1,500 for the rental in cash.
“When she was in the property showing the premises to the couple the owner of the property arrives and he’s in shock that this is going on.
“When the defendant is confronted, she does confess.”
The prosecutor as reported by the Daily Mail added:
“Officers were called to the scene.
“She was in possession of a driving licence in the name of Saira Patel.
“To be honest it was a friend of a friend, I didn’t know what was going on because I was under the influence of drink and alcohol,” she said.
“He poured me a bottle of wine and said I’m going to be viewing properties.
“I legitimately thought it was a job. I didn’t know until later on, just before the deposit that’s when I knew. Sorry, my voice is shaking.
“The guy said I’m going to come to your house, burn it down, that’s why I agreed to it which I knew was wrong.”
Johal was fined £175 and handed a 12-month community order which requires her to fulfil 25 days rehabilitation, 19 sessions of a thinking skills programme and 120 hours of unpaid work.