Academic jailed for fraudulently claiming £2.5million from government green scheme

|News, Fraud and economic crime

An academic who used a government subsidy scheme to fraudulently claim £2.5million has been jailed for four years today (21 December).

Ehsan Abdi-Jalebi  ran four companies which specialised in renewable energy. These companies applied for grants designed for companies researching and developing new schemes.

Abdi-Jalebi submitted to accountants 80 false invoices showing machinery being bought and 101 pages of forged bank statements which made it look like the invoices were paid. The accountants, having seen this material, duly signed off the assurance reports required by Department of Energy and Climate Change & Innovate UK who released the funds to him.

The defendant was stopped on his departure from the UK on a number of occasions where a large quantity of cash was found in his luggage. On one occasion, £100,000 was detained having been hidden in chocolate boxes. Abdi-Jalebi then forged other documents in an effort to get the money back.

Abdi-Jalebi was also disqualified from being a company director for eight years.

Leigh Webber, of the CPS, said: “Abdi-Jalebi abused his position as a respected academic at the University of Cambridge to exploit Government schemes designed to encourage entrepreneurship and development in the renewable energies industry.

“The CPS showed he submitted forged invoices to make it look like he was running genuine businesses and used tax-payers’ money to fund his jet-set lifestyle, continuing his lies when cash he was trying to smuggle to Iran was seized.

“There is no doubt Abdi-Jalebi could have advanced the field and made a much more significant contribution to wind energy, but greed got the better of him.”

Notes to editors

  • Leigh Webber is a Specialist Prosecutor in the Specialist Fraud Division at the Crown Prosecution Service
  • Ehsan Abdi Jalebi pleaded guilty to 13 counts of forgery at Southwark Crown Court on 12 October.

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