Fraudster managing agent Simon van Houten, 31, (left) told residents he had dismissed their caretaker … only for them to discover that the man was still on the payroll two years later. The £32,000 in wages had been secretly paid out of their service charges. This shambles was only one incident at Sunlight Square, which for five years was managed by Van Houten when he was an executive with Rendall and Rittner. In July he was jailed for 30 months at the Old Bailey for stealing £122,000 out of leaseholders service charges.
He used a bogus decorating company to issue numerous invoices that he then authorised for payment. He used the money to fund a luxury lifestyle in Chelsea, on the proceeds of funds he stole from leaseholders in east London.
Van Houten pleaded guilty before the trial began and as a result there was no evidence presented or cross-examination.