Three sentenced to a total of 15 years for conspiracy to defraud auction houses


Lynne Henderson, Crown Advocate for CPS Wessex said: “Simohamed Rahmoun, Farouk Dougui and Jabey Bathurst have today been sentenced for conspiring to defraud auctions houses and car-part suppliers.

"Their modus operandi was to set up telephone bidding accounts in false names, supported by fake identification documents. They bid for high value pieces of diamond jewellery and watches, paid for those items by using credit card details stolen from people in Canada and the United States and then collected the items before chargebacks were received from the credit card companies. 
They also ordered parts for various cars they owned over the phone by using, once again stolen credit card details, and collected the ordered parts before the chargebacks were received by the sellers.  The chargeback system operates so that the seller bears the loss.  The total value of offending was in the region of ¬£750,000.  The bulk of the offending took place between May and October 2010. 
The Crown Prosecution Service worked closely with Wiltshire Police right from the early stage of their two year investigation and advised on the evidence gathered by the police, which consisted of an in depth analysis of multiple mobile phone numbers and hand set usage and a thorough analysis of ANPR of attributable cars across the country.
The evidence showed that the offences were committed in England and Wales and New York and the auction houses targeted varied in size from provincial firms such as Gardiner Houlgate in Corsham to international firms such as Bonhams and Christies (their New York Sales Room was also targeted). 
This successful prosecution has put an end to the fraudulent enterprise of the three defendants who thought they had masterminded the perfect plan. We will now apply for a confiscation order to seize their ill-gotten assets."

 Simohamed Rahmoun was sentenced to six years

Farouk Dougui was sentenced to five years for conspiracy and two months for contempt

Jabey Bathurst was sentenced to four years.