Conman floods Norfolk with bogus charity collection bags
11:48 23 June 2014
Archant © 2011
A conman who flooded Norfolk with bogus charity clothing collection bags has been fined £1,500 and ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge.
Evaldas Guoga misled residents into thinking their donations would benefit the air ambulance but he was simply operating a money making scam for his own benefit, a court heard.
Norfolk trading standards started to receive complaints from residents when the misleading bags were left on their doorsteps, and officers attended neighbourhoods in Dereham in 2011.
At Norwich magistrates’ court on May 28, Guoga, from Rednal, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to three consumer protection regulation offences.
The court heard Guoga set up a limited company called E&N Textiles in December 2010 and a website airambulanceservice.org.uk, which had no connection to any legitimate air ambulance organisations.
He had a large number of clothing collection bags printed with the words ‘Air Ambulance’, ‘Urgent’ and ‘Clothing Collection’ in large letters and a reference in very small print to the name of his company.
Maureen Cleall, team manager for Norfolk County Council’s trading standards service, which brought the prosecution, said “Mr Guoga misled householders in Norfolk, Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire into thinking that the clothes they were donating would support good causes and genuine organisations when in fact they were being used to fund his own private company.
“We are pleased that the court agreed with us that his business activities were mean, fraudulent and amounted to an organised scam.
“Norfolk trading standards coordinated this successful prosecution which was the result of working closely with our trading standards colleagues in other counties and the police. I would also like to thank the witnesses who stepped forward to give evidence -- this result is good news for them, too.”