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8 May 2015, 06:00
A woman has been sentenced after she was found guilty of fraudulently advertising properties for rent and pocketing the deposit money.
On a number of occasions Jecintha Krishnan, aged 34 and of Cherry Way, Hatfield advertised a house for rent in the town. She would offer the property to people, arrange a date for them to move in and take the deposit money. However she would cancel and fail to return the deposit. The property being advertised was, in fact, one she was renting herself.
She was charged in January with fraud by false representation and was remanded into custody.
She pleaded guilty at the beginning of the trial and was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Wednesday (May 6) to 18 months imprisonment. She has served 8 months on remand so the remaining sentence has been suspended for 18 months.
The judge also awarded the fourteen victims compensation to the total of £12,237. One victim was awarded £1,600.
She will also have to carry out 100 hours unpaid work over 12 months.
DC Anna Luxon from the Local Crime Unit at Hatfield Police Station said: "There were fourteen victims in total, the majority of whom were foreign nationals and it is likely that Krishnan preyed on their lack of local knowledge to obtain large sums of deposit money. Some of the victims were also students who would have lost money which would have been much needed for their studies.
"When officers attended the property to arrest her, they found another victim at the door, trying to get their money back.
"I am pleased with this sentence, in particular the order made by the judge to pay the victims back compensation."