The Sentencing Council has issued new guidelines that could see people convicted of the most serious offences of fraud by false representation getting a custodial sentence of a maximum of ten years, whilst offences of a less serious nature could still see 26 - 36 week custody and community service orders being sentenced.


TrustMark, the government-endorsed quality mark used by reputable tradespeople, welcomed the new sentencing guidelines with their Chairman, Liz Male saying: “TrustMark applauds the introduction of the new sentencing guideline which we hope will result in tougher sentencing for cowboy builders and rogue traders who operate in the black market, swoop in on victims of floods, storms and other home damage, and who often like to win business by fraudulently using registration marks and pretending to be ‘approved’.”


She said: “This is particularly important when it comes to home repairs and improvements because the impact on a victim can be huge, whatever the size of the financial loss.


“Often it is a homeowner’s personal space and refuge that has been violated, and their confidence badly damaged in just the place where they should feel safest.”


“We hope that stronger penalties will help us get the message across to these rogues that their activities will not be tolerated and have no place in our industry.”


The new guidelines come into force from the 1st October 2014 and have been widely welcomed by the construction sector. Find out how to get your business registered with TrustMark.