A man described by Kingston council as a “bogus builder” has been convicted, after a complaint was made against him by a local homeowner.

Michael Verrechia, from Kent, appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates on October 16 and pleaded guilty to five offences including money laundering, fraud and unfair trading.

He received an 18-month community order to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work, pay a fine of £300 and obey a 3-month curfew between 8pm and 6am.

Kingston and Sutton Trading Standards brought the case to court after a Kingston home owner, who has not been named, hired him to re-roof their property.

When the home-owner complained about several issues to do with the work, Mr Verrechia became “abusive and pressured the victim into making a series of bank transfers totalling £6,400”, according to Kingston council.

Two other customers also said they were coerced into having unnecessary roofing work, and later pressured into overpaying for work carried out.

Mr Verrechia made a number of fraudulent claims including that he was a member of the Confederation of Roofing Contractors and that new roofs came with a 20-year guarantee.

The builder also claimed he had £1m public liability insurance and no payment was required until work was complete.

Mr Verrechia operated from fake addresses, defrauded consumers out of £25,000 for substandard work and carrying out unnecessary roofing and building work.

Cllr Dave Ryder-Mills, portfolio holder with responsibility for trading standards at Kingston council, said: “Our role is to protect our residents, so we take these matters very seriously.

“This a very good result for our trading standards team, and we will continue to work to ensure that rogue traders are prosecuted.

“We encourage residents to not deal with traders who call at their door, seek recommendations from friends and family before undertaking any works, and to get a number of different written quotes before making a decision.”

Kingston and Sutton Trading Standards have obtained £15,400 from Mr Verrechia to compensate the victims.

To report a scam, contact Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.