A company director who cheated companies out of £80,000 for non-existent promotional goods has been jailed for 40 months.
Alan Weston from Thorpe Astley, Leicester, defrauded customers by offering free gifts to entice them to order goods, but failed to supply them.
Leicester Crown Court heard how the 33-year-old responded to complaints from customers with excuses ranging from being in hospital to family members dying.
The court heard how Mr Weston had been the company director of two firms, Promoprods Ltd and 8th Wonder Merchandise Ltd, which both sold branded promotional products and was unlawfully trading between December 2011 and August 2015.
In total, 24 businesses, of which one of them went completely bust, made complaints to Leicester City Council’s Trading Standards team.
Weston pleaded guilty to two counts of fraudulent trading in respect of two companies.
He was also banned from being a director for eight years.
A separate hearing is due to take place next year to set out confiscating the proceeds from Weston’s fraudulent activities.
Councillor Piara Singh Clair, Leicester deputy city mayor with responsibility for regulatory services, said the following: