Abdul Rauf – Serial fraudster in court again
Serial fraudster Abdul Rauf, resident of Govan was jailed in 1996 for four years for forging signatures on and cashing in 779 Department of Social Security payment orders to a value of £58,264 between June 1993 and July 1994.
He was charged with fraud for a second time in 2008, for claiming £80,000 income support from the Department of Work and Pensions while receiving up to £10,000 annual rent from the property in Edinburgh’s Dalkeith Road which he failed to declare. His court case was scheduled for February 2010.
11 Feb 2010: Nicola Sturgeon flexes her political muscle
The MSP for Govan and Scotland’s Deputy First Minister sent an unsolicited letter to Donald Finlay QC, advocate for the defence of Rauf, writing:
“Mr Rauf has accepted his wrong doing and has experienced the consequences of it through the effect on his health, the distress caused to his family and the impact on his standing in his community. He has already paid £27,000 of the outstanding balance to the DWP and will settle the remainder by selling property. He and his wife are anxious that a custodial sentence may be imposed by the court and of the effect this will have on Mr Rauf’s health and the impact on family life. I would appeal to the court to take the points raised here into account and consider alternatives to a custodial sentence.”
16 Feb 2010: Extraordinary developments
Rauf who was jailed for two years, said in a later statement to the press that he had never met Sturgeon and he had not asked for her intervention with a letter to the court on his behalf.
It was disclosed that Sturgeon’s unsolicited plea to the sheriff on behalf of Abdul Rauf was dated the day after businessman Khalid Javid paid £2,000 for a meal with the Deputy First minister in the MSPs’ restaurant at Holyrood.
May 2010: Sturgeon issues a “zero tolerance” warning to fraudsters
“Anyone contemplating fraud should be aware that they will be caught, and if they are caught, they will have to face the consequences of their fraudulent actions. Fraudsters in any walk of life are opportunistic, tend to be fairly entrepreneurial, and will take the opportunity to exploit any weakness in the organisation they target. Let me be clear today about what is a zero-tolerance approach to fraud and to fraudsters. Fraud in my view, is a fraud perpetrated against each and every one of us and that is why it is so important to combat it. So it does make sense for all of us, in our own ways and in our own roles, to act as counter-fraud champions.”
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