A man with a history of defrauding construction companies dating back to 1989 has been given a six-year sentence after taking more than £100,000.
Paul Parmar, 51, was found guilty on six counts of fraud at Isleworth Crown Court on Tuesday 5 June.
Judge Jonathan Ferris told Mr Parmar he had “an appalling record as a fraudster”, having been convicted six times for “fraud-type offences” over the last 29 years and serving time in prison as a result.
Mr Parmar’s history was a “serious aggravating feature” in him receiving the six-year sentence, Judge Ferris said.
Mr Parmar will spend three years in prison and three years on license.
Among the six counts Mr Parmar was found guilty of, three related to him defrauding Bondsbury, a London-based contractor working on high-end residential projects in central London.
Mr Parmar had been hired by Bondsbury as a quantity surveyor through a recruitment agency and was later made commercial director with power over procurement.
In this role he defrauded the company of £92,873.56 over several months in 2015, during which time he was on license for a previous fraud conviction.
In January 2016 Bondsbury went into liquidation, with the fraud being cited a major factor.
Bondsbury’s former owner Benedict Pippet told the court around 30 people who were either directly employed by the company or working with suppliers and subcontractors had lost their jobs or “lost opportunities” as a result of his company’s liquidation.
Judge Ferris told Mr Parmar “there is no doubt what you did had a high impact on Bondsbury” and was a “major factor” in its failure.
Mr Parmar defrauded another construction outfit of around £13,000.
He was also found guilty of producing fraudulent documents claiming to be from Wandsworth County Court and documents that claimed he held a senior position with a construction industry trade body.
Speaking to Construction News after the sentencing, Mr Pippet said: “All that hard work building a successful business was destroyed due to his malicious actions.”
Mr Pippet said: “He presented a very impressive CV. But it was all fraudulent, it’s all fabricated, it’s all fake.”
He added: “It seems now they [the recruitment agency through which Bondsbury recruited Mr Parmar] didn’t do the basic checks.”
Mr Pippet said Mr Parmar presented a fake name at first, which could not be verified because he said he had lost his passport, before later presenting the company with a forged official change-of- name document, which actually used his real name.
Mr Parmar told the company he had been forced to change his name after he had been defrauded himself.
Mr Parmar’s QS role gave him influence over purchasing, which increased when he was later made commercial director.
“Essentially, he was in charge of placing orders, bringing in the quotes and instructing orders,” Mr Pippet said.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t know at the time, but over many, many months he was creating fictitious companies and defrauding large sums of money.”
Mr Pippet said that, as an SME, his firm had struggled to find the time to run its own background checks on Mr Parmar, but thought such measures should not have been necessary when using an agency.
“You should be able to rely on [recruitment] companies you’re paying a significant sum to place these individuals, but you cannot rely on them doing the due diligence and checks,” he said.
“You have to do your own basic checks.”
Mr Pippet wants to see changes in the industry to make it harder for people to defraud construction companies.
“I would love to see that when he comes out of prison in three years or whatever it is, there is some change in the industry that doesn’t allow him to keep infiltrating businesses and defrauding them, as he has done so over the last 25, 30 years,” he said.
Confiscation proceedings are currently being carried out against Mr Parmar and compensation for his victims will be considered after this.