A Norfolk man who cashed cheques worth £23,700 for a gang of rogue traders has been sent to prison for 21 months.

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Trevor Nockolds, of Joseph Clover Court, Market Place, Aylsham, was found guilty of eight counts of money laundering at Norwich Crown Court this week.

Nockolds, 56, was a member of an organised crime group who committed rogue trader offences against the elderly and other vulnerable people in Cambridgeshire and six neighbouring counties.

He had told the court he got involved after meeting a man called “Mick” in a pub.

Passing sentence, Judge Nicholas Coleman said: “It must have been manifestly obvious to you, if approached by a man in a pub to cash a cheque, there is something dishonest about the transaction.”

He accepted that Nockolds was not connected to the frauds by the rogue traders.

Tom Brown, for Nockolds, said: “He was not said to have been involved in the wider scheme.” He said that Nockolds was a solitary man.

Operation Magpie, a two year joint operation between Cambridgeshire County Council’s trading standards service and officers from Cambridgeshire police, became aware of Nockolds following an Operation Radar investigation in Norfolk.

Enquiries revealed that Nockolds was one of several money launderers, used by the group, to convert any victim cheques into cash by passing them through their own personal accounts.

Steve Matthews, of Operation Radar, who led the Norfolk-based enquiry, welcomed the conviction saying: “There are many different facets to rogue trading from the person who calls at the door to the person behind the scenes who launders the money.

“This case highlights the latter and shows Norfolk Constabulary’s commitment to combating rogue trading whatever the form and however the criminal is involved.

“Through its Operation Radar team, who operate with a multi-agency approach, Norfolk police will always fully investigate and look to prosecute anyone committing such offences. This case is a fine example of that commitment and such multi agency work.”

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