East Ham iPhone fraudster caught with 50 fake handsets ordered to pay back almost £30k or face extra year in jail
PUBLISHED: 15:01 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:01 14 May 2019
An iPhone fraudster caught with more than 50 fake handsets has been ordered to pay back almost £30,000.
Mirza Kamran, of Benson Avenue, East Ham, scammed businesses out of thousands by purchasing genuine iPhones before claiming refunds after switching them for authentic-looking fakes.
The 38-year-old was jailed for two years and five months last July after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation, possessing an article for use in fraud, and possessing criminal property.
After sentencing, financial investigators from the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate looked into Kamran's assets.
They found he had valuables totalling £28,261 which a judge on May 8 ordered him to pay back within 28 days or face another year behind bars.
DI Alec Wood said: "Kamran committed fraud offences on a commercial scale and was responsible for cheating businesses out of tens of thousands of pounds.
"We could not allow him to continue to enjoy the financial benefits of his offending following his release from prison.
"He will now have to pay back a substantial amount of money or face a further 12 months behind bars. He has learned the hard way that crime does not pay."
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Kamran was caught when he purchased an iPhone from an Argos in Aylesford, Kent, in September 2017.
The shop assistant believed he was acting suspiciously and took a photo of the serial number printed on the box before finishing the sale.
Kamran left the store but returned minutes later asking for a refund, claiming the person he was buying it for wanted the phone in a different colour.
The cashier alerted a security guard when she noticed the serial number was different but they were unable to prevent Kamran from fleeing.
But his silver Honda Civic's registration number was passed to police.
Officers searched his home in April 2018 and found five fake Apple watches, 53 counterfeit iPhones, 48 genuine ones and 236 empty iPhone boxes.
Thirty-three of the 48 genuine iPhones were reported lost or stolen with one business hit with losses of £43,410 because of Kamran's offences.
The fake handsets had nothing more than metal plates inside.
Kamran was arrested at Heathrow Airport after returning from a trip to Pakistan.
The confiscation hearing was at Maidstone Crown Court.