"their deception knew no bounds"
A gang of three men were all given jail sentences for defrauding 50 victims of more than £600,000 using a fraud operation lasting over four years.
The men, Mohammed Naveed Chaudhry, aged 40, from Leeds, Shaikh Ahmed Rahim, aged 39, from Cheadle Heath and Mohammed Ibrahim Sidat, aged 63, from Bolton, were all jailed for masterminding the scam, along with a fourth man, Ayub Patel, aged 50, from Blackburn, who laundered money for them but was spared jail.
The fraud gang convinced their victims to give them money for repossessed properties they could buy from them at very cheap prices.
At the hearings at the Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, the convicted men were handed their sentences.
Chaudhry and Sidat both themselves pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering offences and Rahim was found guilty during a three-week trial.
Chaudhry was jailed for five years and three months.
Rahim was given three years and eight months.
Sidat was jailed for two years and four months.
On June 27, 2018, Patel was given 12 months in prison, suspended for two years and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work.
The fraud operation carried out by the men was across the North of England and was between the years of 2011 to 2015.
The men posed to be convincing professionals to easily defraud the 50 victims of their money.
Chaudhry was the leader in the large-scale defrauding operation.
He used the alias name Adam Baksh and frequently pretended to be a solicitor who worked for the Crown Prosecution Service.
At other times he acted to a number of victims as someone who was in a position to sell repossessed residential properties at a reduced price.
Victims were introduced to Chaudhry by Rahim and Sadit. He was presented to them as the property business dealer or the CPS solicitor who could offer them genuine schemes of tremendous financial gain.
The three men then persuaded the interested victims to part with their money under the impression that they were buying a repossessed home.
Patel was then recruited by the trio to launder the fraudulent money through his business bank account. He allowed £126,000 to be processed through his account.
Detective Constable Andy Devonshire, of Greater Manchester Police’s fraud investigation team, said of the case:
“Chaudhry and his accomplices are incredibly dishonest men who lured in their victims with false identities and empty promises.
“They took full advantage of people who trusted them and defrauded more than £600,000.”
“The fraudsters presented Chaudhry as both an employee of the Crown Prosecution Service and a reputable solicitor – their deception knew no bounds.
“I hope today’s sentences provide some closure to the victims and that they can begin to move on from the stress and upset that these individuals have caused them.
“They now have plenty of time in prison to realise that it wasn’t worth it.”
To recover any funds that the men gained from their criminal operation will be addressed by a separate Proceeds of Crime Hearing.