Fraudsters steal millionaire's identity and attempt to sell home

They also stole £90,000 from the couple's pension pot

Fraudsters steal millionaire's identity and attempt to sell home

A gang of identity thieves who stole £90,000 from a couple's pension pot and almost sold a £500,000 home without the owner knowing have been jailed.

Saeed Ghani, 30, led the trio who successfully intercepted mail and then used the stolen documents to defraud victims.

In one plot he managed to transfer the deeds of a half a million pound property into his name and tried to sell it.

He was only foiled when the homeowner's daughter noticed the address was advertised for sale on a property website and alerted police.

In June 2012, Ghani, from Prestwich, Greater Manchester, and co-defendant Atif Mahmood, 42, conspired to steal identity documents from an insecure post box in the Stockport area.

They used the stolen mail to hijack the identity of the homeowner and then carried out the plan to sell the property from under their noses.

Ghani also stole the identities of two homeowners in Bolton by using fraudulent passports in a bid to transfer the Land Registry deeds of their property, valued at more than £300,000.

Finally, in August 2014, Ghani and a female defendant, Toma Ramanauskaite, 30, intercepted a husband and wife's post in Boothstown, Salford, and again hijacked their identities, said police.

They took out driving licences in their names which were then used as identification to open new bank accounts.

They then approached the pension company to successfully transfer almost £90,000.

Ghani, of Polefield Circle, was jailed at Preston Crown Court for seven and a half years after he pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to three counts of conspiracy to defraud.

Mahmood, of Samsfield Close, Gorton, was jailed for two years and two months after he too admitted at an earlier hearing to conspiracy to defraud.

Ramanauskaite, of Spring Street, Bury, who pleaded guilty to the same charge, will be sentenced next month.

Detective Sergeant Phil Larratt, from Greater Manchester Police's Fraud Team, said: "In all three cases Ghani worked with an associate to hijack people's identities by stealing their mail.

"Unfortunately in the final case, Ghani along with Ramanauskaite were again able to successfully hijack further identities to steal a couple's pension.

"Today's verdict will hopefully send out a message to fraudsters in Greater Manchester that people will receive significant sentences for these types of crimes.

"As this case demonstrates, fraudsters can use your identity details to open new bank accounts, request new driving licences and even try and steal your own home. We urge the public to secure their mail boxes and employ measures to protect their identities."

Victims of scams and fraud

Victims of scams and fraud



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