Rogue trader jailed for three years

Published: 23 March 2023

Simon Regan, director of Angel Coatings Ltd, was today (Thursday) jailed for three years and disqualified as a company director for six years. 
Regan was in the business of laying resin drives and pathways and charged residents and businesses across three counties many thousands of pounds for work which in many cases was not up to scratch.

People trying to get faults put right were met with repeated false promises — he would simply lie to customers, make countless excuses and evade his responsibilities. 

On 22 February 2023, a jury unanimously convicted Regan, who also traded under Angel Coatings Resin Drives Ltd and National Resin Drives Ltd, of three counts of Fraudulent Trading, contrary to the Companies Act 2006, after a trial that lasted nearly five weeks at Southampton Crown Court.

The case represented one of the biggest Trading Standards prosecutions ever brought by the council.

James Potter, the council's Trading Standards manager, said: "This was a long and complex investigation with many lines of enquiry we had to follow.

"Simon Regan and his companies caused a huge amount of detriment to our local residents and businesses with his rogue and fraudulent trading practices.

"Some of the things he said and excuses he made to his customers were bullying and simply staggering. We’re pleased the court has found him guilty of his offending."

During the trial, the court heard evidence from 65 witnesses from the Isle of Wight, Hampshire and Devon where Regan’s companies had committed offences. The collective fraud of these contracts was valued at around £300,000.

His offending included gross overcharging, works that were poorly or incompetently installed, ten year guarantees that were worthless or had little value, remedial works that were only partially undertaken or not undertaken at all and the non-return of deposits paid when cancellation rights had been exercised.

Witnesses told the court Regan, 58, would make threats to rip up the driveways if he didn’t receive payment in full and when civil action was attempted in the county court, he would threaten consumers again.    

In 2018 he had signed a formal undertaking under the Enterprise Act 2002 to Trading Standards that the highlighted issues at the time would improve, however the complaints considerably escalated leading to a criminal investigation being started.

Many Island residents attended court in person to give their evidence.

During the case, the jury heard how Regan would simply ‘fob off’ his customers and lied to Trading Standards during the investigation.

There were significant sums of money being turned over through his companies which was not reflected in his company accounts submitted to Companies House or HMRC, and he had spent a substantial amount of money on his gambling habit. A timetable has been set for confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Amanda Gregory, strategic manager for regulatory and community safety, said: "I want to thank the entire Trading Standards team but, in particular, to the investigating officers in this case.

"Through sheer hard work and determination, the evidence was gathered to present in front of a Jury. I also want to say thank you to all the witnesses in the case who attended court for facing the defendant which we are aware causes a degree of anxiety, stress and inconvenience.

"To have achieved this result also wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous support from our Legal Services and our prosecuting barrister."  

Councillor Karen Lucioni, Cabinet member for community protection, said: "The investigation suffered difficulties, including COVID-19 affecting timescales, but with perseverance we got to where we are today.

"Local consumers and businesses lost many thousands of pounds on works they had paid for.

"This was a team effort to get this result and our officers have to be congratulated. The case demonstrates that where the evidence exists of these fraudulent trading practices, Trading Standards will take appropriate action to protect local consumers and the honest, reliable businesses."