Fraudsters who tried to steal a house worth £750,000 by intercepting the real owners mail and hijacking his identity to transfer the deeds of the house over to their names have been jailed.
Saeed Ghani, 30, and co-defendant Atif Mahmood, 42, stole identity documents from a post box belonging to the victim so they can carry out their sophisticated plan and sell the property from under the real owners nose.
Saeed Ghani then tried to sell the house worth £750,000 after transferring the deeds of the property to his own name.
The fraudsters were only caught when the victims daughter was shocked to see her fathers house being advertised on the property website Rightmove and alerted police.
Saeed Ghani, Atif Mahmood, and Toma Ramanauskaite, 30, were also involved in stealing an elderly couple’s pension worth nearly £90,000 by hijacking their identities.
The took out driving licences in their names which they used to open new bank accounts.
They then successfully persuaded the couple’s pension company to transfer nearly £90,000 into the new bank accounts.
Ghani pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to three counts of conspiracy to defraud and was jailed for seven and a half years.
Mahmood and Ramanauskaite also pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud and Mahmood was given a two year and two months sentence while Ramanauskaite will be sentenced next month.
Detective Sergeant Phil Larratt, from Greater Manchester Police’s Fraud Team, said: ‘In all three cases Ghani worked with an associate to hijack people’s identities by stealing their mail.
‘Unfortunately in the final case, Ghani along with Ramanauskaite were again able to successfully hijack further identities to steal a couple’s pension.
‘Today’s verdict will hopefully send out a message to fraudsters in Greater Manchester that people will receive significant sentences for these types of crimes.
‘As this case demonstrates, fraudsters can use your identity details to open new bank accounts, request new driving licences and even try and steal your own home. We urge the public to secure their mail boxes and employ measures to protect their identities.’