A fraudster from Brighton was one of three men sentenced by a judge over a fake loans scam yesterday (Monday 29 April).
Imaad Khan, 24, of Bedford Place, Brighton, was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years, at Hove Crown Court.
Khan was also ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid community work, pay £1,560 in compensation and £2,500 in costs.
He was banned from being a company director for the next seven years.
He was found guilty on Tuesday 19 March of fraudulent trading by obtaining management fees from customers who were falsely told that they had been approved for a loan on favourable terms.
In reality no loans had been approved or were likely to be approved.
He was also found guilty of operating a business without a consumer credit licence.
Judge David Rennie said that Khan had displayed extraordinarily arrogant behaviour in his role at the fake loans brokerage Swift Loans Finance.
The business placed adverts in national newspapers offering low-interest loans.
They defrauded more than 100 people across the country, conning them out of £35,000 in total.
They also obtained services from six companies which unwittingly provided them with advertising, administrative and logistical support, running up debts in excess of £92,000.
The other two men involved in the scam were Fahad Javaid, 25, and his father Javaid Hussain, 51, both of Borrowdale Close, Crawley.
Fahad Javaid had previously admitted four counts of fraudulent trading, carrying on an ancillary credit business without a consumer credit licence, ten counts of fraud and one count of perverting the course of justice.
He was jailed for two and a half years and was banned from being a company director for ten years.
He was also served with a Serious Crime Prevention Order and a Financial Reporting Order to take effect for five years on his release from prison.
Javaid Hussain was convicted of operating the business without a consumer credit licence.
He was given a four-month curfew order, ordered to pay £400 court costs and was banned from being a company director for the next five years.
Officers from the Sussex Police Economic Crime Unit had received reports that between April and July 2011 people had registered with a Gatwick company called Swift Loans Finance.
They had been offered low interest loans for a fee but had not received any loans.
In July 2011 officers, working with West Sussex County Council trading standards officers, executed a search warrant at the Swift Loans Finance office.
The office was based in a privately rented office in First Point, a multi-occupancy office block at Buckingham Gate near the airport’s South Terminal.
Detective Sergeant Mick Richards said: “Adverts were placed in the national press, targeting people with poor credit ratings or county court judgments, and offering loans at exceptionally low interest rates of 7.2 per cent.
“Applicants were asked for an allegedly refundable advance fee of £80 to secure and arrange the loan.
“That was the last applicants saw of their money and no loans materialised.
“All monies paid into the company accounts were quickly withdrawn and spent.
“Our subsequent investigations established that Fahad Javaid was using stolen compromised bank details to support his lifestyle, including booking flights and the hire of sports cars.
“While on bail, he continued to offend.
“Forging signatures and assuming a fake name, he set up an HGV driver training company based in Staines, placing adverts in the national media.
“Five people responded and paid monies on the understating of a training course and employment offer.
“Needless to say, these never materialised.
“We have calculated that there has been a loss to the creditors and victims totalling in excess of £138,000, which includes victims of the HGV driving fraud.
“It is clear that both Fahad Javaid and Imaad Khan enjoyed the high life while spending monies that they didn’t earn, which had come from desperate people looking to secure a loan or future employment.
“Imaad Khan showed no remorse for these despicable actions although Fahad Javaid did express sorrow for his actions to the court.
“Mr Khan will now be making compensation payments to a number of the Swift Loans Finance customers while Fahad Javaid has a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) against his name for £138,000.
“It was clear that Javaid Hussain had no knowledge of the day to day running of the Swift Loans finance company and there is no suggestion that he gained any benefit.
“However, through his negligence he is guilty of the consumer credit licence offence.
“The sentences reflect the serious view that the court took of the offending.”
Suspicious offers can be reported to Action Fraud or by calling 0300 123 2040.