Estate agent jailed after taking out loan in customer’s name in Berkhamsted

James Beck has been jailed
James Beck has been jailed

An estate agent has been jailed for 18 months after he took out loans totalling £30,000 in the name of a woman whose house he was selling.

James Beck, aged 39, of Bennett Hill Close, Royal Wootton Bassett, was working for an estate agents in Berkhamsted when he used the woman’s details to open a bank account and take out two loans of £15,000.

The offences occurred in October 2016 when Beck was living in the town. He used some of the money to pay for a family holiday to Mexico.

When Beck was arrested he replied no comment in interview. It was later discovered that Beck fraudulently used his wife’s cheque book and her credit card.

These offences occurred between June and September 2017. While on bail Beck fled to South Africa in an attempt to evade police but was arrested at Heathrow by officers on January 10 and remanded in custody.

He was charged with nine counts of fraud and two counts of stealing bank loan funds totalling £30,000.

Beck pleaded guilty to all of the offences at St Albans Crown Court last month and was sentenced last Friday. Judge Andrew Bright told him that he had “abused his position of trust.”