Two men have been found guilty of a sophisticated credit card fraud which targeted auction houses across the country.
A complex, six-week trial at Isleworth
Crown Court in West London saw Farouk Dougui, 39, from London, and
Jabey Alan Bathurst, 23, from Middlesex, convicted on February 15
of conspiracy to defraud between May and November 2010.
Simohamed Rahmoun, 30, pleaded guilty
to his part in the conspiracy during the trial and was remanded in
The three offenders worked together in
their plan to defraud by using foreign-based fake credit cards to
pay for valuable jewellery at numerous auction houses. They also
purchased electrical goods and car parts from other businesses.
Forty-three firms across the UK were targeted in total, to a value
estimated at over £800,000.
Senior investigating officer Det Con
Amanda Carver said: "By the time the victims became aware the cards
were fake, the offenders had collected the items which were worth
many thousands of pounds.
"My investigation highlighted victim
after victim and the true extent of their fraudulent activity only
became clear when I collated all the similar offences from across
the country and abroad."
The fraud involved a series of false
identities, passports and utility bills, and addresses used such as
a house up for sale to create those details.
DC Carver, based in Wiltshire, has now
retired from the police but made sure the case was completed after
she had become the main co-ordinator for forces across the
The investigation involved Wiltshire
Police with West Mercia, Essex Police and the Metropolitan
DC Carver said several auction houses
had played important parts in helping the investigation, such as
Toovey's in Washington, West Sussex, and thanked ATG for articles
it ran highlighting the risks and appealing for
She added that the offenders used
their criminal activities to fund a lifestyle that was way beyond
their legitimate means. Rahmoun was claiming benefit at the time of
these offences but had very high-value cars at his disposal in
Morocco and Spain (Bentley convertible, Audis and Mini Coopers).
The group showed no remorse for the distress and financial
difficulties they caused their victims.
Dougui and Bathurst were remanded into
custody and were due to appear at Isleworth Crown Court with
Rahmoun for sentencing on March 14.
Barbara Ursula Goossens, 60, from
London, was found not guilty of conspiracy to defraud.