Two Preston men have been jailed for running a business loan scam.Advertisement
Martin Williams, 32 of Broadgate and Imran Ahmed, 42, of Burrow Road, Deepdale, set up fake firms promising low interest rates to defraud £160,000 from businesses across the UK.
Williams and Ahmed will face three years in prison for trading as Lomond Finance Limited, Revenue and Finance Ltd, Commercial and Corporate Ltd, Alliance Equity Ltd and Calston Commercial Ltd between 2010 and 2012. They were convicted of 26 counts of fraud – 13 each.
The companies were registered to offices in Bond Street and Regent Street in London but mail was diverted to addresses in Preston.
Victims were promised large unsecured loans on the condition that an advance deposit an an administration fee were paid up front – sums handed over ranged from £30,000 as a deposit for a loan of £210,000.
Police said the money eventually ended up in the fraudsters multiple personal bank accounts before being withdrawn in cash.
The scam was uncovered when Lancashire Police officers raided offices in December 2011 in Garstang Road and found thousands of fliers ready to be posted to unsuspecting businesses.
DC Azam Khan from Preston CID said: “This was a deliberate, dishonest and sophisticated set up with these fraudsters ultimately taking advantage of the recession when businesses were struggling.
“They have shown no remorse for their actions which has seen honest, decent, hardworking people and their businesses lose thousands of pounds.
A female accomplice, Debbie Devany, 30 of Bolton Road West, Bury, was given a two year suspended sentence. She was convicted of 10 counts of fraud.