Islington Council prosecutes roofing scammer for defrauding resident of £22,000

A man who took £22,000 for shoddy and unnecessary roofing work to a resident’s home has been jailed for 16 months after prosecution from Islington Council.

Darren Conroy from Southwark was sentenced on 21 February at Snaresbrook Crown Court, after admitting to two offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, including money laundering and converting criminal property. Conroy was sentenced to 16 months for each offence, with the sentences running concurrently. He was described as ‘thoroughly dishonest’ by the judge.

The scam began on 2 December 2020, when two individuals, calling themselves ‘James’ and ‘Richard’, convinced an Islington resident that their roof required replacing.  

Claiming they were from London Top Roofing Ltd, they quoted the resident £43,000, and demanded a substantial deposit of £22,000. That deposit was paid into Mr Conroy's personal account, who ‘James’ and ‘Richard’ called ‘the big boss’. 

The work to replace the roof was due to start the next day, but ‘James’ and ‘Richard’ did not show up. Instead, another roofing company were sub-contracted to carry out the work. A payment of £3,500 was made to them from Mr Conroy’s account. However, they also charged the resident £3,655 for building materials and labour. At the same time, the resident was receiving a barrage of messages from ‘James’, demanding a further £21,000.  

At this point Islington Council’s Trading Standards team were contacted and launched an investigation. Officers discovered that London Top Roofing Ltd did not exist as a limited company and their website was a fake front.  

After commissioning a report from an expert surveyor, the council found that the work to replace the roof was unnecessary and substandard. This was confirmed when the roof started leaking six weeks after it was replaced. The report also asserted that the real value of the work was no more than £2,250.  

Mr Conroy was found to have received the money from the fraud. Within two days, he had paid it all out to either his own personal or business accounts, or withdrawn it. He had also transferred payment to the sub-contracted roofing company.  

Islington Council were able to bring Mr Conroy to justice by showing that the victim had paid the money directly into his bank account, and that Mr Conroy either knew or had reason to believe that the money was from fraud. ‘James’ and ‘Richard’ were never identified. As part of the sentencing process, Islington will be asking the court to award compensation to the victim to alleviate the financial losses incurred during the scam. 

Cllr John Woolf, Executive Member for Community Safety, said: ‘It’s very distressing that one of our residents was targeted by criminals in their own home, where they should feel safe. We want everyone in Islington to have a safe place to call home, as we work to build a more equal future for us all.  

“Thanks to the relentless work of our Trading Standards and Legal Services teams, this perpetrator has faced justice. We have zero tolerance for fraud in Islington and will take similar tough action against anyone attempting to exploit our residents.” 

Residents are encouraged to use a trader approval scheme recommended by the council, such as Buy With Confidence or Which Trusted Trader to find traders needed to carry out home improvements.

Notes to editors

Islington Council's Trading Standards team encourages anyone who suspects fraudulent activity or feels they have been a victim of a scam by a trader to report the matter to them via the national Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.

For further information and tips on fraud prevention, please visit our Consumer Advice page or contact Islington Council's Trading Standards team.

Contact information

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please view the contact information on our website or call 020 7527 2000.