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Fraudsters ordered to repay over £1million following Cumbrian investigation

Posted by StreetSafe on December 7, 2010

Fraudsters ordered to repay over £1million following Cumbrian investigation

Four Luton fraudsters have been ordered to repay over £1million after a large scale Cumbrian investigation uncovered a £2million nationwide fraud.

The four men, Adil Khan, Faisal Khan, Azhar Mahmood and Zulfiqar Ali were ordered by Crown Court Judge in a Proceeds of Crime hearing last month to repay a total of £1,015,711.70 within six months or they will face a default sentence of four years.

The hearing stemmed from an investigation by South Cumbrian detectives after a Barrow woman reported a potential fraud to officers in December 2006. An in-depth financial investigation began and found that over 90 victims from around the country and as far as India and Australia had their credit cards cloned to pay a number of mortgages on several Luton properties.

Cumbria’s Financial Investigators charged the two brothers, Adil Khan and Faisal Khan, with money laundering offences in April 2007. A third brother, Zulfiqar Ali, was later charged along with their associate, Azhar Mahmood, with money laundering offences in August 2007. In September 2007, the Khan brothers pleaded guilty and were sentenced to three years imprisonment.

In September 2008, Azhar Mahmood and Zulfiqar Ali pleaded guilty and were sentenced to one and a half years and three and a half years consecutively.

During the Proceeds of Crime Hearing, the Judge found the men to have benefited from their criminality to the tune of £2,270,437.10. They must pay back a total of £1,015,711.70 within six months or face four year jail sentence.

DC Cath Rogerson, a financial investigator that led the complex investigation said: “This was a mammoth investigation that started with a woman from Barrow reporting a credit card fraud of just £1,400.

“The scale of the investigation led to us tracing 90 victims though out the UK and abroad who had had their bank cards cloned to make fraudulent payments on a number of properties based in Luton that were owned by the four defendants.

“One of the defendants was also spending hundreds of thousands of pounds of his innocent victim’s cash in casinos which shows the scale of the lucrative set up.”

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Forrester who heads up South Cumbria CID said: “This proceeds of crime hearing demonstrates to criminals and our local community that an offender’s punishment doesn’t end when they get put behind bars. The reason that criminals get involved in crimes like this is for the financial gain – and stripping them of their cash and assets is what hurts them most.

“We have dedicated officers who work to uncover complex frauds like this and I’d like to thank them for their hard work and commitment which has led to the four men being brought to justice on behalf of the 90 victims across the globe.”

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