Cowboy builder who employed thieves and drug addicts in £152,000 racket jailed

A cowboy builder destroyed homes across a major UK city and conned more than £150k out of victims on shoddy works – by employing crooks.

Waheed Butt, 49, boasted of a "world class service" but instead provided 'shambolic' works carried out by drug addicts and criminals which left many devastated customers homeless, Birmingham Live reported.

The career fraudster, now of Reading, conned around a dozen victims out of more than £150,000 via poor quality work.

Butt targeted vulnerable people online who were looking for new kitchens, windows and extensions.

However, the works were either never finished or carried out to a dangerous or substandard quality.

Building surveyors condemned at least two of the projects, even calling for them to be dismantled and reconstructed because they were unsafe.

Mr Butt was exposed when reports were made to Birmingham City Council trading standards and he was recalled to prison, having carried out the racket whilst on licence for dodgy car sales offences which earned him a prison sentence in 2016.

He admitted a charge of fraudulent trading in relation to his latest crimes.

Prosecutor Ben Mills branded Butt a 'criminal fraudster' due to his 100 previous convictions, the vast majority being for fraud, theft and 'dishonesty' offences.

He stated shortly after his release from prison in 2018 he started building company WB Infrastructure.

Mr Mills said: "He had little if any practical experience in the building trade. It didn't take long for his instincts to take over.

"Not withstanding his lack of experience he promised to provide a 'world class service'.

"Instead he provided a shambles infused with dishonesty. Most of the people he employed were people he met in prison or on probation.

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"In interview he described the lads he was working with as f***ing complete and utter b****ks; a lot of drug addicts or they had been in prison."

There were 13 complainants from customers and businesses who had been ripped off in Butt's web of deceit across Birmingham.

The court heard Butt had set aside £152,000 to compensate them although the victims claimed their total losses to be in excess of £200,000.

Mr Mills said the defendant promised refunds but failed to pay them or made checks out to people from bank accounts which had already closed.

The prosecutor summarised the impact on victims stating Butt left a retired couple 'devastated' and 'mentally scarred' after swindling them out of £35,000 only to cancel the project.

He also stated a teacher's home was inhabitable for nine months while a widow paid nearly £50,000 out of her life savings only to have her property 'ruined front and back'.

On Monday, 16 May, Butt was jailed for six years and disqualified from being a company director for eight years at Birmingham Crown Court.

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