A FATHER and son who conned elderly and vulnerable customers out of more than £71,000 have been ordered to pay back significant sums of their ill-gotten gains.

As the Argus previously reported, bogus builders Jeffery and James Tawse used “aggressive sales tactics” to con around 15 people, aged 50 to 97, extorting thousands from their victims before being caught in Cwmbran as part of a joint investigation called Operation Genesis.

Back before Cardiff Crown Court for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing yesterday, Jeffery Tawse, 53, was ordered to repay £71,520 compensation, after the court heard he had assets totalling £200,000.

James Tawse, 25, who benefitted by £52,297.55 was ordered to pay back £1,500 - the amount of his available assets. 

Both have three months to repay the cash.

Tawse senior was warned he faces a further two years in prison if he defaults on the payment, while Tawse junior would face 28 days.

Cardiff Crown Court previously heard the pair operated in locations ranging from Monmouthshire, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent, to Carmarthenshire, approaching customers and offering to carry out work.

One service involved cleaning between paving stones with a water jet and refilling the gaps with sand and sealant. But tests later revealed the sealant formula used was an ineffective saltwater solution, meaning weeds grew back weeks later.

After a joint investigation, Newport City Council brought the prosecution on behalf of Scambusters Wales.

Both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud, while Tawse senior pleaded to conspiring to control criminal property.

Lee Reynolds, prosecuting the Cardiff pair in September last year, outlined the individual cases of 15 victims of the scam which involved cold calling, using different business names, directly approaching houses, and distributing fliers.

After acting on intelligence, the investigation team worked with the Gwent Police and South Wales Police to arrest the pair in the Oakfield area of Cwmbran.

The bust occurred in the middle of a scam involving an 87-year-old man, who had gone to a cash point to withdraw £1,000 to pay for works when the officers showed up.

Tawse senior was sentenced to six years in September, and his son to two years.