Elderly targeted in £1.5m vacuum cleaner swindle by mother and son’s Leeds company

l
l

A mother and son behind a lucrative scam targeting Dyson vacuum cleaner owners have been convicted of conspiracy to defraud.

Linda Scoffin, 66, from the Burton area of Lincoln, and her son, Thomas Scoffin, 31, of Roundhay in Leeds, ran a Leeds-based company called Excel Servicing Ltd.

It swindled customers – many of them elderly or vulnerable and some with dementia – by carrying out unnecessary servicing work on vacuum cleaners made by Dyson, which it falsely claimed to represent.

An investigation by National Trading Standards found that Excel, based on Grant Avenue in Harehills, raked in more than £1.5m from its crooked activities.

That money funded a lavish lifestyle for the Scoffins which included spending on holidays and high-end clothing.

The pair were convicted at Leeds Crown Court and will be sentenced next month.

They are also set to face confiscation measures under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Colin Rumford, from the Yorkshire and Humber regional investigations team at National Trading Standards, said: “This investigation was shocking both in terms of the number of people who were defrauded and the shamelessness of the tactics deployed by Excel Servicing.

“The company deliberately targeted elderly and vulnerable people – including some who had dementia.

“The only purpose of this fraud was to enrich the defendants. While they inflicted misery on their victims they enjoyed a lavish lifestyle.

“I am pleased that our investigation has secured these deserved convictions.”

Sisters Jane and Lucy Batham at the Tarte and Berry bakery in Farsley. PIC: Simon Hulme

Delight for sisters as Leeds bakery wins Selfridges’s seal of approval