A fraudster who cost a family almost £85,000 after he falsely claimed to be a financial advisor has been jailed.
Rafiq Master,56,of Oakley Park, Bolton, was sentenced to three years in prison at Bolton Crown Court today, after pleading guilty to fraud by abuse of position at an earlier hearing.
In June 2013, the victim set about buying a family home in Fulwood, Preston, and contacted Master for advice following a recommendation.
Master, director of BFX Capital Ltd and Tijori Ltd, claimed his companies were registered with the Financial Services Authority and that he was an independent financial advisor accredited by the Financial Conduct Authority.
However, neither claim was true.Master told the victim he could arrange a loan from a lender in the Middle East which specialised in buying property in the UK.
Master told his victim that, as the property was being sold at auction, money needed be transferred quickly and the victim signed paperwork which allowed Master to use his house as security on the loan.
On 7 June 2013, the victim transferred an initial £25,000 to Master and transfers continued until he had paid more than £84,500.
However, on 2 October 2013 the victim noticed the property had been sold to another buyer in August 2013 and when he asked for his money back, he received a cheque that bounced.
Police were called after the victim tried to confront Master at his home.
The Middle East-based lender was in fact his own company, Tijori Ltd, of which he was the sole director and had limited funds.
Master spent his victim’s money paying off other clients and funding his own lifestyle.
Detective Constable Ryan Mackenzie, of GMP’s Fraud Investigation Team, said: “This was a cruel and calculated crime where Master systematically lied to and deceived a man who had dreams of buying a bigger family home.
“He took payments from a victim who, by raising the funds from family members and taking out extra credit, has now been landed with significant debt and emotional trauma.
“Master’s lies have caused untold distress and heartache to the entire family, who are still living with the financial consequences and will struggle to ever fully recover from the ordeal.
“I hope that today’s outcome brings home the message that fraudsters who think they can get away with deceiving honest people will be caught and brought to justice with robust consequences.”