Online estate agent Claire Louise Ainsworth has been convicted of fraud totalling £5,000 after failing to turn up to court.
According to Lancashire Telegraph, the online agency she runs in Oswaldtwistle, ‘UK Online Estate Agents’, told the seller one price and the buyer another and kept the difference which was paid in cash, Blackburn magistrates heard.
Ainsworth, 35, pleaded not guilty to fraud by false representation but was convicted in her absence after failing to turn up on the day of the trial. She was sent on bail to return to Burnley Crown Court to be sentenced on 24 February.
The court also heard that she told the buyer to pay £80,000 online to the vendor’s solicitor and kept the £5,000 cash herself.
Paolo Pesserini, defending, said on the day of the trial that Ainsworth had been in hospital with her child who had suddenly been taken ill. He said she had contacted the court and had been waiting for a new trial date.