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Accountant jailed for exploiting a disabled victim for over £300,000

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A chartered accountant has been jailed for exploiting a vulnerable victim out of money and assets worth £331,858.

Sukhdev Singh, 73, was sentenced to five-and-a-half years' imprisonment, having been convicted of four counts of fraud and one count of money laundering at York Crown Court.

The victim, named ‘A’, has learning, social, and physical disabilities.

The North Yorkshire Police investigation and prosecution case discovered that when A’s parents had died, Singh had offered to sort out the financial affairs.

However, Singh instead took £34,000 from the victim’s bank account and paid into his own in September 2016. In the same month, Singh transferred the ownership of A’s Harrogate home, valued at around £275,000, to one of his own companies. No money was paid back to A, in return.

Singh created a number of documents on his computer, including agreements and letters, to facilitate the fraud. Some of the documents claimed to be from A and those with responsibility for A’s affairs, agreeing to transfer them to Singh.

At the time of Singh’s arrest, evidence was seized that revealed he was trying to obtain further assets belonging to A, including an apartment in Spain (worth over £62,000) and around £5,000 held in a bank account in Jersey.

Andrea Thomas of the CPS said: “Singh put himself forward as a trusted friend and professional financial adviser for an individual with considerable vulnerabilities. His actions, in diverting money and property for his own personal gain, was a huge breach of trust, and failed to support and protect the victim.

“He may have obtained further assets from the victim but for the work of North Yorkshire police who helped to build a strong and compelling case. The conviction and sentence follow close team working between the CPS and police and results in justice for the victim. The CPS will be seeking to start proceedings on getting back Singh's ill-gotten gains.”

The CPS is committed to continuing to work closely with law enforcement and investigatory authorities to bring individuals engaging in fraudulent practices to justice.

Notes to editors

  • Andrea Thomas is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Serious Economic Organised and International Directorate (SEOCID)
  • SEOCID was launched on 1 April 2022 and is the CPS response to the changing nature of crime by bringing together specialists in organised and economic crime as the lines in this criminality is being blurred even more
  • Sukhdev Singh (DOB: 08/07/1948) was sentenced to five and half years for four counts of fraud and one count of money laundry related offences.

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