29th Jun, 2022

Ruthless fraudster fleeced pensioners out of nearly £80,000

A ‘SLICK and ruthless fraudster’ who fleeced pensioners across the Midlands out of tens of thousands of pounds made almost £80,000 from his crooked activities.

But callous Hassan Qaumi’s only asset was a cherished car number plate worth just £250, a judge has heard.

Qaumi, 28, of Lynton Drive, Wolverhampton, is currently serving a prison sentence of four-and-a-half years following an investigation by Warwickshire Trading Standards.

He was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court in October after pleading guilty to fraudulent trading, 15 offences of fraud and three thefts.

And at a further hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act following an investigation into his finances, prosecutor Ben Mills said Qaumi’s benefit from his illegal activities totalled £79,367.

Despite his repeated promises to pay back his victims, an earlier hearing was told he had repaid just £4,000 – and his only available asset now was a personalised car registration plate worth £250.

So Judge Barry Berlin ordered £250 to be confiscated, and gave Qaumi 28 days to come up with the money or face an additional seven days in prison in default.

During the original hearing it was said Qaumi had conned pensioners from as far afield as Coventry, Rugby, Nuneaton, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham and Halesowen out of a total of £35,600.

Mr Mills explained that Qaumi was the sole director and shareholder of H Q Energy Ltd which supplied and installed solar panels, boilers and central heating systems.

But over a 16-month period between June 2016 and October 2017 he deliberately targeted and systematically fleeced customers aged between 60 and 91 who he believed to be ‘easy prey.’

And at his home officers found lists of other potential customers in Cannock and Lichfield, with addresses and dates of birth showing all of them to be over 60.

The fraudulent trading offence related to Qaumi paying for personal items costing over £79,000 from the company account.

Among his victims was a retired Rugby man who he persuaded that the roof insulation company which was going to do some work on his home was ‘a rip-off,’ and helped him to cancel the contract – then conned him into paying £9,580 for work which was never carried out.

And a retired Coventry man shelled out a total of £3,580 for a new boiler, which was not installed, after being told he was entitled to a refund of part of the cost from a Government scheme.

Mr Mills said there had been a number of adjournments to give Qaumi an opportunity to make good a promise to pay back all the money he had obtained – but he had paid back just £4,000.

And jailing Qaumi, Judge Barry Berlin had told him: “You used that company as a vehicle for your deliberate and persistent deceptions on customers.

“Your victims were aged from just over 60 to 91, and at your home were lists of potential customers, all of them over 60 years of age, who you sought to target with your smooth patter.

“You plainly targeted elderly and vulnerable people. You are a slick and ruthless fraudster of elderly people.

“I’ve seen in the report of the remorse you express, but that cuts no ice with me.”

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