A serial fraudster, Hassan Butt, who sold £1.1 million of non-existent goods on eBay over a 10-day period in the run-up to Christmas has been jailed for 13 years on 5 October 2018 for multiple fraud offences.
The court heard how Butt set up a company called MI Genie Ltd, (placed into Compulsory Liquidation on 10 March 2016), which he used to advertise electronic goods such as mobile phones and tablets. In a 10-day period in December 2014 the company took £1.1m of orders but no items were delivered, and the money disappeared.
It is estimated that approximately 3,000 members of the public were victims of Butt’s fraudulent actions.
Butt was convicted of the following:
- Money laundering in respect of the proceeds of the eBay scam, by conspiring with a business associate to send the money overseas.
- Fraudulently obtaining £47,000 of loans and credit. When questioned by the lenders he repeatedly claimed to have been the victim of identity theft.
- An online fraud of £6,000 where he ordered high-value products including iPads and gold bars before falsely obtaining refunds, claiming the items never arrived at his address.
- Fraudulent evasion of VAT worth about £300,000.
Stephane Pendered, from the CPS, said: “Hassan Butt is a serial fraudster and liar whose actions in scamming money online of thousands of eBay customers ended up costing the website over £1.1m”.