eBay fraudster jailed for £1m scam

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A serial fraudster who sold £1.1 million of non-existent goods on eBay over a 10-day period in the run-up to Christmas has been jailed for 13 years.

Hassan Butt, 38, of Manchester, had denied his role in the scam but was convicted of fraudulent trading following a trial at Manchester Crown Court, where he was sentenced for multiple fraud offences today (October 5).

The court heard how Butt set up a company called MI Genie which he used to advertise electronic goods such as mobile phones and tablets. In a 10-day period in December 2014 the company took £1.1m of orders but no items were delivered and the money disappeared.

It is estimated that approximately 3,000 members of the public were victims of Butt’s fraudulent actions.

Butt was convicted of money laundering in respect of the proceeds of the eBay scam by conspiring with a business associate to send the money overseas.

In addition, Butt was also convicted of fraudulently obtaining £47,000 of loans and credit. When questioned by the lenders he repeatedly claimed to have been the victim of identity theft.

Separately he was also convicted of a £6,000 online fraud in which he ordered high-value products including iPads and gold bars before falsely obtaining refunds by claiming the items never arrived at his address.

Butt was also convicted of a VAT fraud against Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs worth about £300,000.  

Stephane Pendered, from the CPS, said: “Hassan Butt is a serial fraudster and liar whose actions in scamming money online of thousands of eBay customers ended up costing the website over £1.1m.

“Butt tried to pin the guilt on a business associate who had left the UK but the jury did not believe his story. This was a difficult case but the CPS worked with the police to comprehensively demonstrate to the jury that Butt was guilty of fraud.”

A second man, Taiub Amin-Dar, 35, a business associate of Butt’s who is also from Manchester, was convicted of fraud and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work at an earlier hearing.

Notes to editors

  • Stephane Pendered is a Specialist Prosecutor in the CPS Specialist Fraud Division
  • Hassan Butt [DOB 20.04.80] was convicted of:
    • one count of money laundering
    • six counts of fraud by false representation
    • one count of being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of VAT
    • two counts of money laundering
  • Taiub Amin-Dar [DOB 19.03.93] was convicted of:
    • one count of fraud by false representation

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