Fraudster must pay back more than £570,000 gained through false lottery claims and other scams
- Credit: Archant
A FRAUDSTER who lived the high life on other people’s money has been ordered to pay back more than £500,000 - or face a further four years behind bars.
Amuda Sheidu, 26, who is serving a 27 month jail term after admitting laundering £170,000 for an international crime gang, gained £578,632 from scams which included false lottery claims, bogus charity collections and non-existent commodities deals.
Judge Nicholas Coleman ordered the £41,248 seized from his bank accounts when he was arrested be paid in compensation to three victims of the scams at the hearing at Norwich Crown Court last Thursday.
He has been given six months to pay back the outstanding £537,383 or face a further four years in prison. The debt will stay with him regardless of whether he serves further jail time.
Sheidu set up accounts in Peterborough from addresses in Padholme Road, Eastfield, and Bringhurst, Orton Goldhay, along with a company called Mosty Ltd, registered at an address in Whitwell, Paston, and another firm called Guaranteed Services Ltd.
Fraudsters would then dupe people into transferring large amounts of money into Sheidu’s accounts before it was withdrawn from ATMs across the UK.
Victims of the scams were from all over the world including Dubai, Canada and South Africa.
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One victim paid £240,000 into one of the fraudulent schemes run by the gang, only £5,000 of which passed through Sheidu’s accounts - showing the scale of the operation.
Detective Constable Al Bassam, who led the investigation, said: “Sheidu was living in the UK as an asylum seeker who was not working and not entitled to benefits, but records showed a huge amount of money was passing through his accounts. While he was not orchestrating the fraud he certainly benefited financially.
“We have identified a number of victims who have been tricked out of their life savings. We’re pleased that they will now receive some compensation.
“We regularly re-visit these confiscation orders and should Sheidu ever come into money, we will be applying to take it off him.”
It is thought he entered the country using forged documents before claiming asylum as a Sudanese national. However, it is believed he is originally from Nigeria.