Gumtree fraudster jailed after conning rental property victims
A fraudster who conned six victims into paying a total of £12,318 for deposits on rental properties in east London which he was not entitled to rent out has been jailed.
Zhaker Darvesh, 29, was jailed for 13 months and two weeks at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday [Monday, 5 August] after previously admitting six counts of fraud between 1 March 2018 and 31 August 2018.
Darvesh advertised the flats on Gumtree and met with the victims to show them around the properties before agreeing to rent these out to each of them, and collecting deposits ranging between £950 and £3,600.
Once he received payment he would stop responding to phone calls, emails or messages.
The victims, who were all unknown to each other, reported the matter to Action Fraud where an investigation found that Darvesh was the common denominator in all the complaints.
Toyin Akinyemi, from the CPS, said: “Zhaker Darvesh acted as a rookie estate agent dishonestly collecting deposits for flats in east London. He drafted fake contracts and kept in contact with customers answering their queries and discussing move-in dates, before ‘ghosting’ them after receiving payments.
“Some victims were left stood outside the properties on their move-in date only to find that they had been duped.
“The rental property market in London is highly competitive given that supply is short and demand is high - and the defendant was fully aware of the opportunity to exploit those seeking to secure rented accommodation in east London and did so without hesitation.
“This planned, deliberate fraud was led by Darvesh’s greed for money and caused significant inconvenience and stress to victims who were in need of accommodation. I hope this prosecution shows that the CPS will take fraudsters to court to face justice where there is the evidence to do so.”
Darvesh obtained the keys to one flat whilst working as an estate agent at Outlook Property, and another after renting it out for himself under his own company Ariana Estates.
Notes to editors
- Zhaker Darvesh [DOB: 10.03.1990] is from Ilford in the London borough of Redbridge.
- He pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud at a hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 1 July.
- Count 1: Fraud to the value of £950 in relation to a property in Rosedene Terrace, E10
- Count 2: Fraud to the value of £950 in relation to a property in Rosedene Terrace, E10
- Count 3: Fraud to the value of £950 in relation to a property in Rosedene Terrace, E10
- Count 4: Fraud to the value of £2,668 in relation to a property in Hertsmere Road, E14
- Count 5: Fraud to the value of £3,200 in relation to a property in Hertsmere Road, E14
- Count 6: Fraud to the value of £3,600 in relation to a property in Hertsmere Road, E14
- Toyin Akinyemi is a senior crown prosecutor at CPS London North.