A fraudster who conned more than £1.25m out of a mortgage lender and property firm to buy gold bars has been jailed.
Abid Hussain, 40, of Victoria Road, Kilburn, was sentenced to five years and nine months’ imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court on Monday.
He was found guilty of two counts of fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of attempting to pervert the course of justice in the same court on 18 August.
Hussain was sentenced after an investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s Fraud and Linked Crime Online (FALCON) unit.
In May 2016 Hussain contacted police claiming he had been a victim of fraud.
He said a property he owned in North Acton had been sold without his knowledge or permission for £480,000.
But the police found Hussain had sold the property, and that the £480,000 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 showed that Hussain himself had completed the purchase of the bullion.
The police found 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.
The gold is still missing.
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.
The police would not name either the lender or the property firm.
Metropolitan Police complex fraud squad detective constable Richard Kirk says: “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.”