A known conman, Mohammed Tahir Ashraf, has recently been able to con a victim out of over £30,000 in compensation money, spending all of it on escorts and strippers. The money came from a compensation claim as the victim lost his legs during an accident. The man was particularly vulnerable, as he also suffered from mental health issues and schizophrenia. He was left with just 72 pence in his bank account after Ashraf had finished.
Ashraf has pled guilty to false representation, theft and false accounting, totally to seven acts of fraud. For this, he was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court, in the south east of London and received a custodial sentence of 2 years and 6 month.
Ashraf has previously spent time in prison for similar offences. When released, he befriended the victim, choosing him for his high vulnerability. The courts agreed that this was the most sickening part of the entire case, as Ashraf managed to worm his way into the life of someone who had been dealt so many setbacks in life. He thought he had finally found a true friend, someone who cared for him, respected him and believed in him.
The fraud itself took many months of preparation, not just in terms of gaining the victim’s trust. Once that had been achieved, Ashraf told him he wanted to start a business together, trying to sell African hair care products. Together, he said, they would need to come up with £55,000. The victim allowed Ashraf access to his Nationwide bank account, where he had over £31,000 thanks to the compensation. Not only did Ashraf take all of this, leaving him with just 72 pence, he also applied for a credit card with a limit of £2,750 and two bank loans, each equalling £7,500. He also took the victim’s sovereign rings, which he pawned for £2,450. The full amount of which the victim was defrauded equated to more than £55,000.
When the victim realised he had only 72 pence left in his account, he contacted his father. Telling him the entire story, the father immediately contacted the police, who searched for an arrested Ashraf, which eventually led to him being trialled and prosecuted for these acts of fraud.