Three money-laundering rogue traders who targeted elderly and vulnerable people in Northampton have convicted in court.
The three fraudsters took advance payment from vulnerable elderly victims across the country for work they had no intention of doing.
They often tricked their targets into handing over their life savings and were part of a large-scale defrauding scheme spanning the entire country.
But at Lewes Crown Court last week (July 27), James Doran, 48, Kevin Hughes, 54, and Thomas Murphy, 52, were found guilty by unanimous verdict of conspiracy to convert criminal property.
Detective constable Lee Pocock, from SEROCUs Regional Fraud Team, said: "The three men conducted rogue trading by taking advance payment for work they had no intention of doing.
"The offenders targeted vulnerable elderly victims, who they tricked into giving them large sums of cash, sometimes their life savings, without any care for the impact this would have on their victims.
"This was a long and complex investigation, with many of the offences dating back to 2014."
The offences have taken place around the country with victims being targeted from London, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Staffordshire, Sussex, Sheffield, Rugby, Southsea, West Bromwich, Reading, Northampton and Middlesex.
James Doran, aged 48, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
Kevin Hughes, aged 54, of Yarm Farm, Stockton-On-Tees was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.
Thomas Murphy, aged 52, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years.
DC Pocock said: "The rogue traders target the vulnerable in society and use the money launderers, who are prepared to knowingly allow their accounts to be used to launder the proceeds of crime, these abhorrent crimes would not happen.
"These convictions send out a clear message to offenders that the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit will pursue all those involved in these despicable crimes against the most vulnerable in our community.
"Our next step after these criminals are sentenced will be to aim to try and get compensation of the victims, in an attempt to recover the money they have spent a lifetime working for."
The convictions came as part of Operation Kanteen, which has seen over 30 people convicted in an investigation into fraud that has caused a loss totalling over £2.8m to its victims.