Chatteris man told disabled couple he couldn’t finish their camepervan because he had a mental breakdown and was in hospital - but he told another person that during that week he was on holiday in Albania
A Chatteris businessman, who said he could not finish a campervan conversion for a disabled couple because he had a nervous breakdown, told another person that during the same week, when he was supposed to be in hospital, he was on holiday in Albania.
Les Crofts, who pretended to be Mike Smith when the Cambs Times visited his workshop unit on Monday (20), took more than £9,250 from the couple and said their campervan would be ready in October.
Today, however, the Renault panel van is still a shell, with just some insulation wiring inside and a small fridge.
One person contacted us after reading the story and said: “I noticed it mentioned in your article that he had a mental breakdown which happens to coincide with his holiday to Albania - or at least that is where he told others where he was.
“He said he had gone out to look at play equipment for Jumbo’s Jungle.
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“He manages to startup so many businesses by getting a new girlfriend/fiancé/wife for each one and puts their name on the business to get around his poor credit problem due to going bust so many times.”
Another said: “He ran LMC Property Services Ltd and I paid him more than £2,000 up front to put in a new bathroom for me.
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“When he finished it looked like a five year old had done it.
“Tiles were wonky, some bulged out, I could cut myself on one side as there’s no edging.
“The electrics are not safe, there’s no RCD breaker. It’s going to cost £4,500 to undo the mess.”
Mr Crofts said he was going to open a half a million pound children’s play centre called Jumbo’s Jungle in Chatteris this month but blamed his failure to open it on being unable to find the right property for it.
He had offered people VIP membership passes to the play centre for £200 each but promised that because it had not opened he had now paid everybody back.
His reason for not opening was that once landlords knew he wanted a change of use they did not want to know anymore.
He has however found a new unit, he said, and is working on it.
A Just Giving page set up to raise funds on a shareholder base was set up by somebody else and he had nothing to do with that side of things, he said.
Mr Crofts’ unit is in Honeysome Road Industrial Unit in Chatteris.
Some of his businesses present and past include Les Crofts vehicle maintenance and repairs, Campers and Motor Homes.co.uk, Top-notch-leisure ebay, TVS at Chatteris, LMC Property Services Ltd, The Skip Company UK.