• Friday, June 09, 2023

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Duo jailed for defrauding elderly victims

Southwark Crown Court handed down three-year jail terms to two fraudsters involved in fraudulent selling of diamonds as investments that were worth only a fraction of their sale price. (Photo by LEON NEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

TWO men have been imprisoned for defrauding multiple elderly victims of £2.46 million in a boiler room investment fraud.

Southwark Crown Court jailed David Shivmangal, 48, for three years and nine months and Glenn Ward, 52, will be put behind bars for three years for fraud and money laundering offences.

They were convicted last month and their sentencing took place on Wednesday (19).

According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Shivmangal and Ward were part of an organised criminal group involved in two separate frauds.

One fraud arose from the Capitol Finance Group which sold investments in a non-existent scheme to lend money to payday loan companies. The other involved the fraudulent selling of diamonds as investments that were worth only a fraction of their sale price.

Both frauds were organised by the same individuals and operated from the same offices in Birmingham and London.

Shivmangal and Ward were directly involved in the diamond fraud. Elderly victims were targeted using high-pressure sales techniques. They were cold-called and pressured into investing in diamonds, with promises of high rates of return. The fraudsters purchased the diamonds cheaply and then sold them to the investors at inflated prices.

They also offered safe storage of the diamonds which allowed them to re-sell them to other victims.

Shivmangal and Ward controlled the account through which much of the fraudulent profits moved.

The CPS reviewed the case and brought charges after an extensive investigation from the Hampshire police initially and South East Regional Crime Unit.

A victim described the impact of these crimes on his wife and himself: “I am currently 75 years old and live with my wife who has dementia. I would describe the impact of losing £35,000 as a major disaster. I invested this money to assist my family in our retirement and for financial commitments with our health. I now find myself and my family suffering greatly, physically, mentally and financially. The men who contacted me on the phone persuaded me to invest the savings that I have worked hard for. I would describe them as scum.”

Roger Makanjuola of the CPS said this was a “particularly unpleasant fraud”, which resulted in vulnerable victims losing their life savings.

“The fraudsters presented themselves in a credible way and secured the trust of over 100 victims. The only people to benefit from the schemes were the fraudsters themselves and those who assisted them in laundering the proceeds of their crimes.”

Eastern Eye

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