A former company director has been found guilty for his role in a property scheme in which he sought fraudulently to sell a community centre without the knowledge of the owners.
Mohammed Shafiq, 53, of Nottingham was convicted on 8 September 2023 at Nottingham Crown Court of fraud by false representation and sentenced to five-and-a-half years imprisonment.
In 2017, Shafiq used false details and identification documents to deceive solicitors into believing he had the authority of the owners to transfer the property into the name of a company. He instructed the solicitors to transfer the title of the property to Shields & Co UK Ltd of which Shafiq was the sole director.
Shafiq was the only identifiable suspect but it is clear that he did not act alone in respect of this fraud. It is suspected that the fraudsters at some stage would have attempted to sell the property to innocent third-party purchasers.
The East Midlands Special Operations Unit commenced a fraud and money laundering investigation.
Andrew Cant of the CPS said:
“Shafiq played a key role in this fraud which was designed to take ownership of this property without the knowledge of the true owners and with the intention of selling the property on for substantial financial gain.
“Property fraud is a very serious crime that has a significant impact on owners and buyers. This was a sophisticated attempt to commit a massive fraud on the owner of a community centre which was a particularly serious and unpleasant crime.
“The CPS will continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies to prevent the fraudulent activity of criminals.”