Charity bag fraudster sentenced
Man claimed to be collecting clothes for children's cancer charity
A charity fraudster who collected bags of clothes in Greenham for a charity he was never affiliated with has been sentenced.
Dalius Valys was sentenced to a 12 month community order with 200 hours unpaid work.
The 28-year-old, of Strafford Road, Southampton, was also ordered to pay £1500 costs plus a victim surcharge of £60. A deprivation order was made for seized clothing.
The joint investigation was carried out by Thames Valley Police and West Berkshire Council's Trading Standards service.
The council were alerted to the scam after a check on the collections being carried out by Valys revealed that he was not licensed to make the collections.
The bags distributed indicated the collection was by textile recycling company Audosta Limited with a proportion of the proceeds being donated to a children's Cancer Charity.
The collections took place in Greenham on April 9, 2015.
Following a trial in December, Valius was convicted of one count of fraud by false representation.
Magistrates indicated that the offence had a number of seriously aggravating factors in that it was committed purely for personal gain and that both the householders and the charity were victims.
Marcus Franks, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Public Protection said: "This was a cynical fraud. The Judges comments about the nature of the offence in sentencing say it all.
"This was another excellent outcome from joint working between Trading Standards and the Police who are working ever more closely to protect the local community which demonstrates that this kind of crime will not be tolerated and that perpetrators will be prosecuted."
Anyone who has concerns about the legitimacy of a charity collection in West Berkshire or Wokingham should contact the council's licensing team on 01635 519184.
For advice on Trading Standards matters please they should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Line on 03454 04 05.
See Thursday's Newbury Weekly News for more on the case.