Mark Makowski, a rouge locksmith, has been ordered to pay back £7000,000 after a investigation lasting five years into his criminal operation in London and surrounding counties. Mark Makowski, the former director of Pronto Locksmiths and Phoenix Locksmiths which had a locksmith shop in Potters Bar, was convicted at the Old Bailey last year of unnecessarily drilling and damaging beyond repair locks of people who were locked out and in need of help, when a professional locksmith would of gained entry without any damage to the lock or door and the keys, which were often inside, would still work the lock, then charged and ‘exorbitant’ price to fit a new lock.

The five year investigation conducted jointly by Westminister trading standards and scambusters started in 2007 after receiving complaints from customers of Mark Makowski, who had been ‘duped’ when employing Pronto Locksmiths to gain entry to their homes.

After a dawn raid by police on Mark Makowski’s home, fraudulently obtained mobile chip and pin machines from Barclays Bak were found, which he used to obtain payment from his customers who were unable to settle the extortionate bill for his services.

Mark Makowski was convicted of 15 fraud offences in 2010 and was given a four-year prison sentence, and under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, was ordered to pay £703,349.82.

Westminster Council head of trading standards Sue Jones said: "I am delighted with the outcome of this confiscation hearing and that Mr Makowski has been deprived of the wealth he amassed through his criminal conduct. "Trading standards will always consider using the Proceeds of Crime Act in appropriate criminal cases in order to confiscate criminally-derived assets."

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