A man targeted the elderly as part of a money laundering scam by persuading them to transfer money into his bank account.
A number of vulnerable victims – all aged in their 80s or 90s - were contacted by telephone and coerced into making cheque or cash payments into Michael Ahmad’s bank accounts.
The victims were given a variety of reasons why large sums of money were owed to them by way of compensation payments, PPI and investment refunds but told that, in order to receive this, they would first need to pay the tax and administration fees due upfront.
Following receipt of these payments into Ahmad’s bank accounts, large cash sum withdrawals have been made, with funds also being distributed via Moneygram payments to recipients in India and Thailand.
Ahmad, aged 67, of Mullion Place, Fishermead, Milton Keynes, was found guilty by unanimous jury of one count of being concerned in money laundering, one count of acquiring criminal property, and one count of converting and transferring criminal property, following a three-day trial at St Albans Crown Court.
Ahmad was sentenced to five months in prison suspended for 18 months.
The charges related to the period from May 2015 to May 2016.
Ahmad was arrested on May 12, 2016, and, following an extensive financial investigation by Thames Valley Police, was charged on October 2, 2017.
Case Investigator Karen Megeary, of the Investigation Hub at Milton Keynes police station, said: “This was a heartless crime, in which vulnerable and elderly were targeted.
“I would like to thank all the victims and those individuals who represented them in order to seek justice for the distress and financial loss they have been caused.
“Thames Valley Police has made an application under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which, if granted by a court, would force Ahmad to pay compensation to his victims.”