29 July 2017
A fraud boss and his associate must give up cash and assets worth £355,000 after National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators exposed a multi-million pound fraud.
Ex-businessman Aqeel Khan, 40, of Bradford (pictured), was ordered to pay £166,104.77 within three months at Leeds Crown Court.
He faces two years in jail if he fails to pay and would still owe the money when released.
Khan is serving a six-year prison sentence after leading a fraud campaign against financial services firms and using the proceeds to buy some of Bradford’s landmark properties.
His total benefit from fraud was £4m, the court ruled on Thursday. The confiscation order was made against cash and assets and will be given to victims.
Financial institutions Aqeel Khan defrauded have recovered the rest of the £4m through the civil courts.
The order is the second secured by the NCA in relation to Aqeel Khan’s frauds.
In April his associate Ajib Khan, 37, also of Bradford, was told to pay £189,851.70.
He had helped the older man to launder the proceeds of his frauds into property.
Bogus insurance and shell companies
Aqeel Khan pleaded guilty in 2014 to using £300,000 of dirty cash to buy a £2.5million commercial site in Bradford known as the Old Bus Depot.
He also admitted defrauding a financial institution of £500,000 using forged letters and setting up a shell company which sold bogus insurance.
The judge sentenced him to five years and two months in prison and banned him from being a company director for ten years.
He also added ten concurrent ten-month sentences to the tariff, one for each time the con-man breached restraints placed on his assets after being charged with criminal offences.
NCA senior financial investigations manager Kim Kitney said few defendants breached such orders “so immediately, persistently and with such contempt”.
At the same trial in 2014 Ajib Khan admitted a money laundering charge relating to the joint purchase of a £1.2million commercial property with the 40-year-old on Leeds Road, Bradford.
The deal, which would have made the younger man £150,000 if it had gone undetected, saw him handed a two-year suspended prison sentence.
The confiscation order issued to the younger man in April followed a 2015 forfeiture order on cash worth £99,845 NCA officers found in his mother’s house. The money was contaminated with heroin and cocaine.
Kim Kitney said: “Confiscations orders are a powerful tool for the NCA and the rest of law enforcement. With avaricious criminals like Aqeel Khan and Ajib Khan, taking their money can hurt them a great deal in addition to a prison sentence. It takes patience and hard work to get it through the courts but it’s worth it.
She added: “To me, what really beggars belief in all of this is the ten prison sentences the judge had to give Aqeel Khan for breaching restraints on his property.
“It’s rare to see an offender ignore a court order so immediately, persistently and with such contempt.
“When you’re in as much trouble as he was, it’s very simple: play by the rules or watch your situation get worse and worse.”