Building society scam artists jailed

BEHIND BARS: Kousar for conspiracy to commit and committing fraud four times

A CASHIRE at the heart of a scam to steal tens of thousands of pounds from a building society in Greater Manchester has been jailed.

Shamaela Kousar, 22, of Kelverlow Street, Oldham, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud and four counts of fraud by false representation at Minshull Street Crown Court, and was today, 22 January 2010, jailed for two years.

Five other people have been sentenced for their part in the scam.

Mark Robinson, 22,of Bottomfield Close, Oldham and Sohaib Bhatti, 26, of Merton Avenue, Oldham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud at an earlier hearing and were jailed for 18 months.

Yan Cheung, 22, of Moorland Fold, Stalybridge, Dawn Winterbottom, 32, of Second Avenue, Limeside, Oldham and Kalimaree Ellen, 30,  of Cardigan Road, Hollinwood, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud at an earlier hearing and were sentenced to unpaid work.

In May 2008, Bhatti approached the other conspirators, who agreed to take part in a scam to steal from the Cheshire Building Society. They were told there was an ‘inside person’ working at the Ashton-under-Lyne branch who would process false cheques.

DOGDY: Bhatti approached other conspirtors to particpate in the false cheques scam

Robinson, Winterbottom, Ellen and Cheung opened accounts in their own name, and on 30 May 2008 the four went into the Ashton-under-Lyne store while Kousar was working.

Within a 45-minute period, Cheung, Winterbottom, Ellen and Robinson deposited cheques worth more than £161,000 with Kousar, who processed the cheques knowing full well the payments were fictitious.

The accounts were such that the holder could withdraw the monies straightaway. A total of £23,629 was actually obtained by the offenders, as Robinson was denied a Euro exchange cheque of £7,493 in Accrington.

That raised suspicions with the building society, and the police were called in.

Detective Constable Wayne Redford, from Tameside CID, said: “Some of those involved in this conspiracy did so because they were short of money and thought they would make a quick buck out of this criminal enterprise.

“They were naïve and foolish and have paid the penalty.

“However, Winterbottom, Ellen and Cheung should be given credit because they were at least prepared to give evidence against Kousar, who continued to deny her part in this scheme throughout her trial.

“She had a position of trust in the building society and she completely abused it, deliberately processing bogus checks and effectively stealing more than £23,000 from her employers.

“Thankfully, she and her co-conspirators did not get away with it.”

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One Response

  1. Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe! I’ll go and read some more! What do you see the future of this being?

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