Forced Key Witness to Sign a False Statement
A Birmingham solicitor on trial for a multi-million pound mortgage fraud tried to exonerate himself by forcing a key witness to sign a false statement at an Italian restaurant in Sparkbrook.
Kamran Malik was one of four men sentenced for fraud offences after being arrested in 2010 for conning bank lenders into loaning money for over-inflated property.
But the 35-year-old saw an extra 12 months bolted on to his four year prison sentence for fraud at Birmingham Crown Court after he was found guilty of conspiring to pervert the court of justice.
A jury heard that Malik, of Hancock Road, Alum Rock, coerced a witness into going to La Favorita on Albert Road, where he showed him a pre-prepared statement.
He forced him to sign the false account, just five days before the trial, in a bid to exonerate himself of the fraud charges.
The witness immediately reported the incident to police, prompting a second major investigation which resulted in Malik’s arrest in May last year.
Although he admitted writing the statement, he continued to lie to police − denying any wrongdoing and insisting the witness signed it voluntarily because it was “the truth”.
He was ultimately charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice along with his friend − 42-year-old Olubunmi Olalekan of Bierton Road, Yardley− and both were found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court on 3 January.
Malik, who worked for AKZ Solicitors in Alum Rock, was also convicted of the eight original fraud charges along with the ‘face’ of the operation − Tahir Shah, 34, of College Road, Moseley, who was jailed for seven years.
The police investigation was launched after a number of banks contacted officers about fraudulent lease agreements that had been used to swindle them out of a total of £5.2 million in 2008.
Two other men − 25-year-old Umar Hussain of Fosbrooke Road, Small Heath and 42-year-old Iftab Hussain, of Dorlcote Road, Alum Rock − admitted furnishing false information and entering or becoming concerned in money laundering before the trial.
DC Richard Causier, from West Midlands Police’s Economic Crime Unit, was the lead investigator. He said: “Shah would obtain substantially more for the properties than they were actually worth. He would then use Malik in his role at AKZ to direct the money back to his accounts.
“It was an extremely complex investigation, which was only compounded by Malik’s lies and his blatant attempt to bully a witness so he could save his own skin. Perverting the course of justice is a grave offence for anyone to commit but Malik was a solicitor, someone who was supposed to respect and uphold the law, which makes his crimes all the more shocking. He is quite rightly facing a lengthy spell behind bars.
“These men conned banks out of millions of pounds between them, something which ultimately impacts on each and every law abiding citizen in the land −fraud of this type is widely regarded as a victimless crime, but that is absolutely not the case.
“As with all fraud investigations, we will now begin proceedings to recover the offenders’ assets in attempt to recoup their ill-gotten cash using the Proceeds of Crime Act.”
To report fraud, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk. Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Full details of charges and sentences:
- Kamran Malik, 35, of Hancock Road, Alum Rock − found guilty of four counts of conspiring to commit fraud by false representation, four counts of conspiracy to convert or transfer criminal property and one count of conspiracy to pervert the court of justice. Sentenced to five years in prison on Friday 6 February.
- Tahir Shah, 34, of College Road, Moseley – found guilty of four counts of conspiring to commit fraud by false representation and four counts of conspiracy to convert or transfer criminal property. Sentenced to seven years in prison on Friday 6 February.
- Olubunmi Olalekan, 42, of Bierton Road, Yardley − found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the court of justice. Sentenced to six months in prison on Friday 6 February.
- Umar Hussain, 25, of Fosbrooke Road, Small Heath − pleaded guilty to furnishing false information and entering or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement. Sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 24 months and 100 hours community service on Tuesday 11 February.
- Iftab Hussain, 42, of Dorlcote Road, Alum Rock − pleaded guilty to furnishing false information and entering or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement. Sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 24 months and 150 hours community service on Friday 6 February