A man who defrauded a property company and a mortgage lender out of more than £1.25m and bought gold bullion with some of the proceeds has been jailed following an investigation by the Met Police’s Fraud and Linked Crime Online (FALCON) Unit.
Abid Hussain, aged 40, of Victoria Road, Kilburn, was convicted at Southwark Crown Court of two counts of fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
He was sentenced to five years and nine months’ imprisonment at the same court.
In May 2016 Hussain contacted police stating that he had been a victim of fraud and reported that a property he owned in North Acton had been sold without his knowledge or permission for £480,000.
Officers from the Complex Fraud Squad – part of FALCON – launched an investigation and soon established that Hussain himself had sold the property via an apparently legitimate process, and that the funds he had received were from the property company buying the premises.
Hussain then told police that more than £770,000 had been paid into his current account that appeared to be from the re-mortgage of another property he owned. He denied making the mortgage application and said the account into which the proceeds of the sale were deposited did not belong to him, despite his name being on the account.
Some of the money – £438,000 – was then used to purchase 15kg of gold bullion. CCTV enquiries revealed that Hussain himself had completed the purchase of the bullion.
It was established that Hussain had made the re-mortgage application himself. He was again captured on CCTV entering the offices of a central London solicitors to complete the mortgage application.
Hussain contacted police and provided a false witness statement. By reporting the transactions as fraudulent, he aimed to make them void, leaving the property company and mortgage lender out of pocket.
Hussain travelled to Pakistan in the days after purchasing the bullion and is believed to have taken it with him.
Enquiries to establish what happened to the bullion and what he bought it for are ongoing. Hussain was arrested in June 2016 and charged in August 2016.
The funds were returned to the mortgage company and police are now conducting an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act (2002) to recover all the proceeds of the frauds committed by Hussain.
Detective Constable Richard Kirk of the Met’s Complex Fraud Squad, who led the investigation, said: “A swift investigation has ensured that Hussain will now have time to reflect on what he has done in prison. Evidence showed that Hussain had meticulously planned these frauds for some time. We are pleased to see he has received a custodial sentence that reflects the seriousness of his offences.”