Ian Whitehurst successfully prosecutes Push Payment Fraud
September 16, 2019
Ian Whitehurst from Exchange Chambers has successfully prosecuted a Push Payment Fraud in which an elderly Cumbrian flood victim was duped out of more than £64,000 by crooks posing as fraud investigators.
It was in October, 2016, that two persuasive fraudsters – never traced – duped the unsuspecting woman after calling her land line.
They tricked her into thinking her bank account was compromised, and persuaded her to transfer the money – including £30,000 insurance money she received after her home was deluged during Storm Desmond the previous year – into temporary dummy accounts she was told were safe.
However, Carlisle Crown Court heard the money was instead fraudulently filtered down into the accounts of so-called “money mules” who benefited financially.
Almost £10,000 of the victim’s cash was moved swiftly and directly into the bank account of medical student Bilal Mohammed Afzal, of Junction Road, Bolton, now aged 21.
After that money was quickly moved down the criminal chain and into the account of 28-year-old Open University student Mohammed Ismael Khan, £6,500 was converted into euros at a foreign exchange desk in a Rochdale ASDA.
Two days later, around £5,000 was transferred into the student bank account of budding London actor Nikhil Yauvan Reedye, now aged 20.
This was also converted into euros, a process which killed the money trail “stone dead”.
Only around £20,000 of the victim’s money was recovered and returned to her. And, speaking of having lost her savings and children’s legacy, she stated: “I found that the trauma of this scam has left me feeling anxious, lacking in confidence and feeling very ashamed of my gullibility.”
Afzal admitted two counts of transferring criminal property, and was jailed for 10 months.
Mohammed Khan, of Trippear Way, Heywood, Rochdale, admitted two converting criminal property offences, and was jailed for 16 months.
Reedye, of Kennedy Close, Mitcham, Merton, was convicted of converting criminal property after a trial, and jailed for a year.
“You all had significant roles where offending was part of group activity,” Judge James Adkin said. “The reality is without people like you three, fraudsters would struggle. This type of fraud is epidemic.”
In addition to his criminal caseload, Ian Whitehurst also has a busy civil fraud practice.