November 17, 2021

Man used Covid loan account for illegal car scam cash

A man opened a bank account for a Covid ‘Bounce Back’ loan and allowed it to be used to funnel £100,000 from a nationwide car sales fraud, a court has been told.

Arif Shariff, 33, helped a fraud which cheated dozens of duped customers out of substantial amounts of money.

The scam was run by another man, Ravinder Randhawa, who pretended he had a number of car sales businesses dealing in luxury Range Rovers, Porsches and Mercedes. Customers tried to buy cars from him but he would pocket the cash.

Shariff opened an account that was filled with £100,000 by Randhawa.

He said he had run a successful business but hit hard times during the Covid lockdown and became desperate for cash. He claimed he had no knowledge of the wider fraud.

Shariff, of Bents Close, Bedford, admitted money laundering for Randhawa when he appeared at Exeter Crown Court. He was jailed for 20 months.

Judge Peter Johnson told him: “You were clearly doing this for…

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