During two police searches of her home, around 150,000 pounds in cash was found hidden away, as well as stolen goods…reports Asian Lite News
An Indian-origin woman, who prosecutors said shoplifted on an industrial scale and deceived shops into refunding her for items that she had never actually purchased, has been convicted by a UK court of multiple counts of fraud and related offences.
Narinder Kaur aka Nina Tiara was convicted of 26 counts on a UK Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) indictment, which included fraud, possessing and transferring criminal property and perverting the course of justice, at the end of a trial last week that lasted four months at Gloucester Crown Court.
The 53-year-old was dubbed a “prolific serial shoplifter” by the CPS, which told the court that Kaur made it her full-time career to travel all over the country, steal items from high street stores, and dishonestly claim refunds on those items, sometimes on multiple occasions, that she was not entitled to.
During two police searches of her home, around 150,000 pounds in cash was found hidden away, as well as stolen goods.
The CPS was able to prove that Kaur defrauded the various retailers over a thousand times between July 2015 and February 2019 and she remains in custody until her sentencing.
“Narinder Kaur undertook fraud on a long-standing and wide-ranging manner,” said Giovanni D’Alessandro, a Senior Crown Prosecutor at CPS West Midlands.
“It was a very lucrative full-time job which demonstrably made her over half a million pounds over this period of offending. She went to extraordinary lengths to carry out her deceptions, seeking to find a way of defrauding a retailer and then travelling all over the country to replicate the fraud,” he said.
She also changed her name legally and opened new bank accounts and credit cards in a second identity to avoid detection, he said.
“She now righty faces a significant sentence for her crimes and the prosecution will look to recoup as many of her ill-gotten gains as the law allows,” he added.
A close examination of Kaur’s bank and credit card accounts, of which she had several, showed that she had visited and defrauded several high street retailers by claiming thousands of pounds in refunds – way beyond the amounts she had originally spent in those stores.
She also attempted to defraud Wiltshire Council – the local authority for the Cleverton area where she is based in south-west England – of 7,400 pounds by overpaying using stolen credit cards and then contacting the council for a refund, claiming she had accidentally made a payment with too many zeros.
According to the CPS, she worked with a male accomplice to use stolen bank card details to make payments to her own heating oil supplier.
She also instructed several solicitor’s firms to sue her brother and arranged for an accomplice to make payments in the thousands of pounds using stolen card details, which she then asked the solicitors to pay to her.
She also lied to the court and produced false documentations to avoid being convicted of speeding offences and to relax her bail conditions, the court was told.
Working with the police, the CPS said it was able to prove the case using financial data, retail records, witness evidence and CCTV which proved Kaur’s pattern of offending.
She was seen on CCTV entering stores, taking items from the shelves and taking them to the tills as if they had been previously purchased. A close examination of her accounts confirmed the pattern of purchases and refunds and that the same process seen on the CCTV was being repeated on hundreds of occasions.
The final part of her crime was to lie in the face of court proceedings, in order to mislead the court and try to affect the outcome. Each lie she made to the courts was uncovered piece by piece and disproven so her perversion of justice could be uncovered, the CPS said.
Some of the UK high street retailers and department stores hit by the wide-ranging fraud included Boots, Debenhams, House of Fraser, TK Maxx, Monsoon and John Lewis.
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