Elderly victims duped in £13 million Crossrail homes fraud

Stock photo of the Elizabeth Line (PA)
Stock photo of the Elizabeth Line (PA)

Three men involved in a £13.7 million fraud with homes on the Crossrail route where elderly victims were stripped of their life savings have been jailed.

Mohammad Noman Tanveer, 34, Florian Pierini, 35, and Mohammed Hussain, 31, were all part of the so-called “boiler room” scam through a company called Essex and London Properties (ELP).

Victims – many of them elderly and vulnerable - were lured into investing in a fund which was said to generate income through buying, upgrading and selling homes in the Crossrail route - now called the Elizabeth Line - from Essex into London.

However police later discovered only one home was actually bought, while many properties were used in the scam despite ELP having no stake in them.

More than 800 people invested in the scheme, making payments of between £5,000 and £140,000 to ELP.

Tanveer admitted conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering while Pierini was convicted of the same crimes after a trial. Both men were jailed for five years at a hearing at Southwark crown court on Wednesday.

Hussain was convicted by a jury of money laundering and sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

A fourth member of the team, Jeffrey Razaq, 61, was also convicted of money laundering and was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for a year with 200 hours of community service.

“This was a callous and cruel investment fraud which duped around 800 victims into thinking they were buying into a legitimate property scheme”, said Jonathan Kelleher, from the CPS.

“Many of them were elderly and vulnerable.  The scheme proved to be a scam, designed only to defraud victims of their life savings.

“The fraudsters presented themselves in a credible way and secured the trust of many victims. The only people to benefit from the schemes were the fraudsters themselves and those who assisted them in laundering the proceeds of their crimes.”

The trial heard how Tanveer, from Ilford, an original director of ELP, received payments totalling nearly £140,000 while Pierini, of Leytonstone, ran a web of companies used to launder more than £500,000.

Hussain, from Kidlington in Oxfordshire, ran a business that was used to launder more than £300,000, and Razaq received £110,000 into his bank account.

Essex Police said it may be the largest fraud case ever handled by the force.