Hartlepool man accused of conning OAPs in alleged crime gang racket
A Hartlepool man is accused of being part of a crime gang which allegedly defrauded vulnerable and elderly people by overcharging them for shoddy or non-existent property repairs.
John Mealin was among five men who appeared at Teesside Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, October 12.
All five are accused of:
*Conspiracy to defraud;
*Participating in the criminal activities of an organised crime group;
*And conspiring to conceal, disguise, convert, transfer or remove criminal property.
Magistrates heard the alleged offences were said to have taken place across the UK, including Manchester, Stockport and London, and most were alleged to have taken place during lockdown.
The court was also told that the case involves 37 defendants.
Thirty-seven-year-old Mealin, of Staindrop Street, appeared for the first time on Tuesday morning in connection with the case.
He was charged alongside Adam Alcott, 48, of Winn House, Burrowes Street, Walsall, Ian Moore, 62, of Tame Barn Close, Milnrow, Rochdale, Stephen Cantello, 56, of Miriam Street, Manchester, and Anthony Mervyn Leason, 54, of Roger Garth, Willerby, Hull.
No pleas were entered.
Court clerk Tracy Sullivan told the defendants the charges were too serious to be dealt with by magistrates and that the case would be sent to Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday, November 9.
Magistrates agreed to release all five men on conditional bail.
The must each live and sleep at the address they have given to the court, not contact other defendants, not approach or contact prosecution witnesses either directly or indirectly, including via social media, and not cold call any private residence to offer property repair or maintenance services.
The court dismissed a weekly reporting condition previously imposed on Mealing.