Harjit Kalian and Ajay Chopra swindled thousands out of innocent customers
THE directors of a burglar alarm company who swindled tens of thousands of pounds out of scores of residents across the Midlands have been convicted of fraud.
The case, which involved faulty and wrongly advertised burglar alarms, follows a prosecution brought by Sandwell Council trading standards.
Many of the victims of the fraud were older and vulnerable residents.
Harjit Singh Kalian, of Mount Road, Rowley Regis, and Ajay Kumar Chopra, of Baldwins Lane, Hall Green, Birmingham, have both pleaded guilty to the offences.
The duo were directors of Birmingham-based Pentagon Security Systems Ltd. In late 2007 and 2008, Sandwell trading standards offices started to receive complaints from customers about the company.
Bob Charnley, Sandwell Council’s trading standards manager, said: “The complaints we received included deposits for cancelled contracts not being returned and high phone bills.
“Our investigations showed the burglar alarm systems they installed were faulty, the high phone bills caused by the systems automatically calling the monitoring station over and over again.
“The alarm systems were not tailor-made to homes as these men stated, but bought off the shelf. They also claimed the systems would be installed to British Standard when they were not.”
Mr Charnley said many of the offences related to homes in Sandwell, as well as some in Dudley, Birmingham, Worcestershire, Walsall and Solihull.
Chopra, aged 41, admitted 10 specimin counts of fraud back in April and Kalian pleaded guilty to 22 counts of fraud. Both hearings were at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
They both face sentence at Wolverhampton Crown Court on October 28.
Councillor Derek Rowley, cabinet member for neighbourhood services, said: “These two men preyed on people who were vulnerable and wanting the extra security of a burglar alarm system in their home.
“It is sickening to think that in these residents’ moment of need, these men took advantage of them in this way.
“I welcome this action by trading standards which sends out a message that fraudsters will be prosecuted.”