Stotfold salesman jailed for defrauding elderly Steeple Morden couple out of £81,000
PUBLISHED: 11:59 23 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:59 23 October 2017
A Stotfold salesman who defrauded an elderly Steeple Morden couple out of tens of thousands of pounds in the space of just a few months has been jailed.
Abdul Rimaaz had offered to build a walk-in wet room at the couple’s home, and left them penniless after taking more than £81,000 in bank transfers, cheques and credit card balances for a job worth about £6,500.
The 34-year-old had quoted them £14,000 for the work, which began in April 2015.
But three months later Rimaaz, of Salisbury Close in Stotfold, was arrested after a relative realised the work being carried out was inadequate.
On Thursday Rimaaz was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation and possessing a bank card for use in connection with fraud.
Det Sgt Andrew Gaunt-Warner from Cambs police described Rimaaz’s actions as “despicable” for targeting a vulnerable couple, one who had dementia and died in February last year.
“Rimaaz behaved despicably, befriending and then manipulating this vulnerable couple in order to exploit them for his own gain,” he said.
“The money he was taking from the couple’s account left them penniless and workers at the property broke their washing machine, meaning the lady had to hand wash clothes.
“The case reflects how seriously this type of fraud, targeting vulnerable people, is treated by police and the courts.”
Cambridge Crown Court heard how Rimaaz first met the couple in April 2007 while door-to-door canvassing for a windows firm. They agreed for work to be done but once it was complete Rimaaz stayed in touch, calling daily and visiting.
In 2013, he turned up unannounced and spoke to the man, who was already suffering from dementia, to suggest they would benefit from the wet room.
He gave a quote for the work in February 2015 and the work began in the spring.
During the spring and summer, Rimaaz defrauded them of tens of thousands of pounds, taking out loans, credit cards and overdrafts in their name.
On July 6, the woman went to her bank in Royston with a relative and was told £51,000 had been removed from their account. Realising something was wrong, the relative called police.
The couple had been left with less than £25 in their accounts and had to be supported by a local trust fund to get by.
Rimaaz was jailed for two years for fraud by false representation and 16 months for the bank card fraud, to run concurrently.