Solicitor Pair Exposed In Trying To Sell Property Without Owner’s Knowledge
A pair of solicitors from a Loughborough firm, concocted a plot to sell properties worth an estimate £3 million without the owner’s consent or knowledge.
Hashok Parmar and Syed Gous Ali from Sterling Law Solicitors operated what is known as ‘property take-over-fraud’, where they fraudulently changed the names on ownership deeds and titles.
Suspicions were first cast in 2015 following a report from a solicitor’s firm, on behalf of a client’ who had ‘purchased’ a house in London. The property that had been ‘purchased’ however had never been on sale and the owners had no knowledge of what had happened. It transpired that Ali had provided bogus paperwork confirming the seller’s identity to the conveyancing solicitors.
In a statement released by Leicestershire Police, it was stated that:
“Following the transfer of £240,000 the money was transferred to other accounts overseas and withdrawn in cash which was paid into various bank accounts including ones belonging to Ali and a solicitor’s account associated with Parmar.
“Attempts were made to sell two further properties in London in similar circumstances.”
Following separate trials for the men, where both pleaded guilty, they were both sentenced to six years in prison.
Detective Constable Matthew Swift of the force’s economic crime unit, said:
“This was a lengthy and complex investigation which has taken more than four years to get to this stage.
“Between the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015 attempts were made to sell three properties.
“Each sale had the same modus operandi – a person would pretend to be the real owner and would agree a sale to an innocent purchaser.
“The properties were in London but the conveyancing would be conducted by firms of solicitors in Leicester introduced by Ali or Parmar.
“We are pleased this investigation has subsequently led to both men being convicted for their crimes.
“Luckily solicitors for two of the three sales became suspicious and the defendants were unsuccessful.
“It will hopefully go some way in reassuring the community that we can and will investigate such offences and bring those responsible to justice, and deter others from committing sophisticated frauds.”