Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

PS2m Fraudster Is PS2m Fraudster Is Jailed for 61/2 Years

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

PS2m Fraudster Is PS2m Fraudster Is Jailed for 61/2 Years

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Blackburn Senior Reporter

A TEESSIDE businessman sat in the dock alongside his son and wife as he was jailed for six-and-a-half years for fraud totalling more than PS2m.

Muhammed Asif Ali, and partner in crime Carol Ann Bainbridge, 48, were previously convicted by a jury of conspiring to defraud the former regional development agency One North East of PS500,000.

e pair also faced a separate charge of PS1.6m mortgage fraud, alongside Ali's son, Mohammed Salman Ali, 28, and wife Ghazala Ali, 45.

For her part in both crimes, Bainbridge was jailed for 've years.

Teesside Crown Court heard how they defrauded the nowdefunct One North East between June 2008 and October 2009.

Prosecutor Andrew Haslam told a previous hearing they took money from the agency and kept it for their own ends in a bank account in Ali's name. He said just over PS519,000 of taxpayers' money was paid out by One North East on the basis of false information, and was spent.

He said Ali, 56, of Acklam Road, Middlesbrough, used other people's identities and appointed "stooges" as company directors, giving him control while hiding his involvement and diverting creditors. e case concerned a company, Well Springs Green Lane Ltd, and its failed development in Spennymoor, County Durham.

Ali and Bainbridge also took part in the PS1.6m mortgage fraud alongside his wife and son ,where they used false identities or the identities of unsuspecting third parties as well as falsifying incomes to defraud a number of 'ncial institutions.

Angus McDonald, prosecuting yesterday, said Ali Sr "played a leading role" in the conspiracy while Bainbridge "operated in partnership" with him.

Nigel Ingram, defending Ali Sr, said: "References show he is a man held in high regard in some quarters. You are not dealing with a man involved in fraud who was involved in a particularly lavish lifestyle. …

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