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Man jailed for charity fraud - London

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Alam

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A man has been sentenced to three years in prison for fraudulently collecting money for charity in London.

Mohammed Nazmul Alam, aged 36, of St George’s Road, London, pleaded guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday (11/12) to one count of fraud by abuse of position and was sentenced at the same hearing.

His accountant and co-defendant, Mohammed Mohsin, aged 60, of Roll Gardens, Ilford, pleaded guilty to supplying false or misleading information to the Charity Commission and was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

The pair were arrested by British Transport Police under Operation Sovereign, which targets fraudulent charity collecting on the railway network.

Alam stole £167,000 over four years when he was the trustee of the Non Alliance Social Aid Foundation.

As his accountant, Mohsin sent fraudulent annual reports to the Charity Commission.

In late 2016, BTP officers noticed that the charity had been collecting extensively on the railway but their declared accounts on the Charity Commission website did not look correct. On 10 November 2016, officers attended the charity’s head office in Stratford and Alam was arrested on suspicion of fraud by abuse of position. Mohsin was arrested in January this year.

Insp Dan Tanner, the lead for Operation Sovereign, said: “Alam arranged collections on the railway network then diverted the funds to his own account and a fake Indian restaurant company which he set up.

“Mohsin was a qualified accountant with a large business in East London. By repeatedly signing off the annual charity accounts as correct, he allowed this fraud to occur and for Alam to steal the donations. He now faces being struck off by his professional body.

“As shown by the sentences, the courts deal robustly with this type of serious offending as it undermines public confidence.

“This investigation was a significant success for Operation Sovereign, concerning a substantial fraud duping members of the travelling public.”

Tracy Howarth, Head of Regulatory Compliance at the Charity Commission said: “The deliberate criminal abuse of charities in this way is appalling and as this case shows, will not be tolerated. We are pleased to have cooperated closely with the British Transport Police to support their investigation and secure these convictions and sentences. We will continue to rigorously pursue those who deliberately seek to abuse for their own personal gain the generous public trust and support that charities receive.”

 Notes for editors:

·        The Charity Commission has removed the charity at the heart of this investigation, Non Alliance Social Aid Foundation, from the charity register as it has ceased to exist. It will publish a report of its regulatory compliance case involving the charity in due course. 

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