Police seek missing man
PUBLISHED: 13:15 02 February 2007 | UPDATED: 22:33 28 May 2010
DISAPPEARING estate agent Paul Kerbey has been urged by police to come forward and clear up the mystery of what has happened to thousands of pounds worth of missing rentals money. Police hope Mr Kerbey, who moved to Malaga in Spain before Christmas, will
DISAPPEARING estate agent Paul Kerbey has been urged by police to come forward and clear up the mystery of what has happened to thousands of pounds worth of missing rentals money.
Police hope Mr Kerbey, who moved to Malaga in Spain before Christmas, will be able to explain the whereabouts of deposits handed over by tenants to his Property Express firm which closed in December.
Up to £20,000 is thought not to be accounted for by tenants and landlords who used the March firm, based in Lloyds Bank Chambers in High Street, to handle their properties.
The Cambs Times has tracked down the removals company used by Mr Kerbey to ship his goods to Spain, although one former employee believes he returned briefly to this country last week.
"I spoke to him on Thursday and I believe he was speaking from this country," she said. "However, I also believe he has no intention of returning permanently."
Another former employee said she suspected the business was in trouble several months before it closed.
"I do feel bad about what has happened with peoples' deposits and rents," she said. "But I'm not surprised it went under, it never did that well."
Andrew Woollard, of March, who bought into the business last year, worked at the Property Express offices for some months before Mr Kerbey asked him to leave.
"I invested £25,000 into the business after firstly working there for a few months," said Mr Woollard. "But just after Mr Kerbey cashed my final cheque, out of the blue he sacked me. I have been trying for a year to get my money back, but without success."
Mr Woollard added: "At the very least Mr Kerbey has been morally unfair to me. While I worked there I knew that the rentals side of the business was not being administered correctly. I tried to ensure clients' money stayed in a separate account."
A police source said there was "no doubt things have not been run properly" at Property Express and the inquiry is ongoing.
The source added: "Mr Kerbey is not helping himself by not contacting us to put his cards on the table."
However, there is some good news for many of the tenants - believed to be up to 20 - who had paid over deposits to Property Express. Landlords have told police that in some instances they will be taking responsibility themselves for the money, or splitting the loss evenly with their tenants.
Not one landlord is thought to have told tenants it is their responsibility to make good the shortfall in the deposits.
Police have been to Mr Kerbey's former home in March, which he sold last summer, and to an address in Doddington, which he rented for a while, in an attempt to find his current whereabouts.
They have also been provided with a number of mobile phone numbers used by Mr Kerbey, but all attempts at contacting him have so far drawn a blank.
- If you know the whereabouts of Mr Kerbey call our newsdesk on 01354 652621.