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Two men, who were jailed for their roles in operating a boiler room fraud, which stole money from victims by convincing them to invest in worthless coloured diamonds, have been ordered to pay back £172,987.
On Friday 26 October 2018, the pair were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court following an investigation by the City of London Police’s Fraud Squad. Details of each of each of their sentences are listed below:
- Aaron Fay, 33, no fixed abode, East London, was sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment.
- Sudhir Singh Kundi, 41, of Bangors Road South, Iver, was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment.
After their conviction, confiscation proceedings were instigated by the City of London Police’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The case was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday 6 July and Tuesday 7 July, and a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act was granted against the two men. A third man, Martin Ball, who was also convicted in 2018 for his part in the fraud, was awarded a nominal confiscation order at an earlier hearing in June 2020 after no assets were identified.
Financial Investigator Andy Morrison, who works in the City of London Police’s Financial Investigation Unit, said:
“This was a complex and lengthy investigation involving three dishonest individuals who ruthlessly stole thousands of pounds from victims, by convincing them to invest in low-worth diamonds.
“While we have not been able to recover all the funds the victims invested, we believe this is a positive result and hope the return of some of their monies will bring closure to them and their families.”
Fay and Kundi have been ordered to pay £172,987 within three months, or face default prison sentences of nine and 18 months respectively, on top of their current sentence. Both men were judged to have criminal lifestyles under the Proceeds of Crime Act, and their available funds comprise of the balance of bank accounts, a Maserati car and a share of several properties.
The Fraud Squad first became aware of the boiler room fraud through the City of London Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), after officers attended the premises to respond to a genuine report of burglary by a company called Reco Commodities.
During the investigation, detectives discovered that victims were being cold called and pressured to invest, by being told they could make 15-25% profits on their diamond investments. The amount of money that was paid by victims for an individual diamond ranged from around £3,000 to £21,000, when in reality these diamonds were worth £100-£150 for the lowest quality and £800-£1,200 for the highest quality.