Ramsgate fraudster who conned man in 60s out of £50k is jailed

Mark Riley has been jailed

A Ramsgate fraudster has been jailed after conning a victim in his 60s out of £50,000 for routine building and gardening work.

The victim sadly died before fraudster Mark Riley was brought to justice for his cruel crime.

Riley cold-called at a property in Ramsgate on 8 July 2020, offering to do gardening jobs for the resident. The man agreed and for nearly seven weeks the work continued while Riley kept asking the victim to withdraw cash to pay for the materials and labour.

As one job was completed, the defendant would suggest another job he could do. Work included weeding, new fencing, painting guttering black and the roof tiles red, as well as installing a membrane in the garden and covering with shingle.

In total the victim made 25 withdrawals from his bank account, totalling £50,000, until the bank alerted Kent Police to the withdrawals.

Riley was arrested and following an investigation into the work done, he was charged with one count of fraud in March 2022.

As part of the investigation, detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate worked with a chartered surveyor, and it was found the work done should not have exceeded £20,000 if done properly. In this case the work was deemed not to have been done to a sufficient standard.

Riley, 50, of Military Road, Ramsgate, admitted the offence at Canterbury Crown Court on Thursday 14 September, and seven days later, he was sentenced to two years and seven months in prison.

Investigating officer DC Mark Collins said: “Mark Riley took advantage of an elderly man’s trusting nature and defrauded him of a significant amount of his life savings. Sadly the gentleman passed away in January 2023 and never saw justice being served on Riley or the return of his savings.

“Victims of frauds like these can pay out a lot of money before they realise what has happened and it can happen to anyone.

“We ask families, friends and neighbours of elderly or vulnerable people to check if they have been approached by potential rogue traders and to make sure they have not agreed to work until they’ve had a proper quote and time to consider it. Nobody should feel pressured to accept offers of work immediately.”


  1. It’s a pity this disgusting person was able to take £ 50,000 before alarm bells rang at his bank. It should be illegal to cold call at any domestic setting.

  2. Well there’s only one ‘residential’ area along Military Road…… That was only supposed to be short term….. So that narrows it down. They wonder why they have such a bad reputation….. Unfortunately a lot live up to it.

    • Maria Parker.
      That has had and has its own share of home grown criminals (This paper highlightsthen regularly)
      These home grown criminals range from murderers right downbto shoplifters.
      Should the rest of the country judge Thanet residents by the actions of its home grown serious criminals?
      By yourlogic it should.

Comments are closed.