Greater Manchester Police have now issued a statement after the force did not investigate allegations of fraud by agent Timothy Shinners.
As a result, a private prosecution was brought and Shinners was sentenced to three years in prison and also banned from being a director for eight years.
The private prosecution was brought by fellow director Stephen Laycock of the firm, Platinum Properties in Bolton, at a cost of some £450,000.
Laycock says that he was told that government cutbacks were behind Greater Manchester Police’s decision not to investigate allegations which included abuse of tenants’ deposits.
Greater Manchester Police yesterday told EYE it could not comment on government cutbacks, but Detective Inspector Martin Hopkinson of GMP’s Financial Investigation Unit said: “As with any report of fraud, an initial investigation and thorough assessment is made by experienced and trained fraud investigators and crime evaluators.
“Due to the changing face of crime, we are not in a position to investigate each report of fraud so this thorough assessment identifies those cases where the offenders are causing the most harm or where the victims are the most vulnerable and unable to care or protect themselves against harm or exploitation.
“We have a team of specialist fraud investigators dedicated to recording, assessing, investigating and tackling issues caused by fraud-related crime and we are committed to ensuring resources are used effectively to tackle the issues of fraud-related crime.
“A major part of our work is educating the communities of Greater Manchester to help them take steps to avoid becoming victims of fraud.
“We continue to improve and work with our partners to achieve this and in recent times we have seen a reduction in the rise of fraud across the Greater Manchester area compared to the national landscape.
“Advice and information about fraud can be found on the Action Fraud website.”