Indian-born accountant jailed for five-and-a-half years in UK for fraud and money laundering

A Chartered Accountant (CA) of Indian descent has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison by a UK court after being found guilty of exploiting a vulnerable victim with money and assets worth 331,858 pounds.

Sukhvinder Singh, 73, was convicted on Thursday of four counts of fraud and one count of money laundering at York Crown Court in north-east England. The court heard that the victim, identified only by “A”, had learning, social and physical disabilities and was targeted and tricked by Singh.

“Singh presented himself as a trusted friend and professional financial adviser to someone with considerable vulnerabilities. His actions of embezzling money and property for his own personal gain constituted a gross breach of trust and failed to support and protect the victim,” said Andrea Thomas, senior prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Serious Economic Organized and International Direction (SEOCID).

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“He may have obtained other assets from the victim, but for the work of North Yorkshire Police who helped build a strong and compelling case. Conviction and sentencing follow close collaboration between the CPS and the police and result in justice for the victim. The CPS will seek to initiate proceedings to recover Singh’s ill-gotten gains,” he said.

An investigation by North Yorkshire Police found that when A’s parents had died, Singh had offered to settle financial matters. However, the AC instead withdrew £34,000 from the victim’s bank account and paid into his own in September 2016. In the same month, Singh transferred ownership of A’s house in the town of Harrogate, valued at around 275,000 pounds to one of his own. businesses. No money was refunded to A, in return.

Singh created a number of documents on his computer, including agreements and letters, to facilitate the fraud. Some of the documents claimed to be from A and those responsible for A’s affairs agreeing to transfer them to Singh, the CPS revealed.

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At the time of Singh’s arrest, the CPS said evidence was seized that revealed he was trying to obtain other assets belonging to A, including an apartment in Spain (worth more than 62 000 pounds) and approximately 5,000 pounds held in a bank account in Jersey.

The CPS said it was determined to continue to work closely with law enforcement and investigative authorities to bring those individuals engaging in fraudulent practices to justice.

Its SEOCID unit is relatively new, having been launched in April 2022 in response to the changing nature of crime by bringing together specialists in organized and economic crime.

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