On 9 May 2019, His Honour Judge Bayliss QC sentenced two defendants, Saleem Arif and Kewal Banga, to 4 years 6 months and 2 years 11 months respectively for their part in a sophisticated fraud. Saleem Arif was found guilty of one count of fraudulent trading and one count of money laundering following a three week trial at Leeds Crown Court, whilst Kewal Banga pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering on the first day of the trial.
The Court heard that Saleem Arif had established a company, Electroponents Limited, with the aim of defrauding merchant service providers through the exploitation of a charge back system. Electroponents succeeded in obtaining over £330,000 in this fraud. Arrangements were then made to launder the proceeds of the fraud through B4U Telecom Limited, a company of which Kewal Banga was a director.
Both men have also been disqualified as company directors for a term of 8 years. Proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 are on-going.
Cameron Crowe and Robin Kingham prosecuted the case on behalf of the National Trading Standards eCrime Team hosted by the City of York.