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An ex Cambridge Don ordered to pay £1.3 million in Confiscation Order

|News, Proceeds of crime , Fraud and economic crime

An ex Cambridge don fraudster who conned the Government has been ordered to pay back more than £1.3 million and faces eight-and-a-half years in prison if he fails to pay.

Ehsan Abdi-Jalebi, 40, pleaded guilty to thirteen offences of forgery and was imprisoned for four years on 22 December 2018.

He dishonestly received project funding to the value of £2.5m in grant money from Innovate UK and The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), by submitting forged invoices; they would not have paid out the grant money had they known that invoices were being forged.

Abdi-Jalebi was the director of four companies, one of which, Wind Technologies Ltd, was entitled to grants for part of the costs incurred in its work but not for the total amount. Abdi-Jalebi altered the invoices, increasing Wind Technologies costs to make up for those that were not covered by the partial grants.

On 19 August 2021 a Confiscation Order was made against Mr Abdi-Jalebi in the sum of £1,334,929.78. He has been given three months to pay and in the event of non-payment the default sentence was set at eight-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.

Helen Hughes 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 previously 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.

“The Confiscation Order set by the Judge reflects the available assets of Abdi-Jalebi and we will continue to enforce this and seek further jail time in the event of non-payment.”

Notes to editors

  • Helen Hughes is a Legal Manager for CPS Proceeds of Crime, a specialist Division dealing with asset recovery on CPS casework.
  • Ehsan Abdi-Jalebi (DOB: 08/09/1980) was sentenced to four years for 13 offences on 22 December 2018 at Blackfriars Crown Court.
  • Where a defendant refuses to pay their Confiscation Order in a timely way, CPS Proceeds of Crime Division can invite the court to impose an additional default sentence on them of up to 14 years' imprisonment. The full debt continues to be in force until it is paid, and interest is charged against it at 8% (the civil judgement debt rate).

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