Two men have been handed prison sentences for their part in a fraud that involved the illegitimate purchasing of food and catering equipment over a three-year period.
Using false names, Zulfiqar Alam and Yakub Yusuf placed orders from real businesses after faxing forged bank deposit slips showing they had the funds to pay for the goods, but the cheques they presented would bounce.
Although the names of the companies conned by the pair were not disclosed, Leeds Crown Court was told that the fraud involved £200,000 worth of food and kit. The goods were sold to restaurants around the country which were unaware of how they had been obtained.
The pair’s tactics included placing a succession of orders in a short space of time before companies realised they had been duped.
The Yorkshire Post reported that premises used in the scam included addresses in Batley, Dewsbury and Ossett.
The newspaper added that Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said it was “a persistent obtaining from decent companies goods for which you never intended to pay. It had an element of sophistication in that false identification was used, closed accounts were used to issue cheques and a number of different premises were rented.”
Alam was jailed for three years, while Yusuf sent to prison for 18 months. A third defendant was given a 12-month community order.