Banker lied about terminal cancer to defraud family, friends and taxi driver in £1.2million insurance scam
A former banker who faked terminal cancer as part of a series of scams worth a combined £1.8million has been jailed for almost seven years. Rajesh Ghedia, 42, said he would be dead within a year, falsifying medical documents and letters from a consultant to claim insurance money between October 2020 and May last year.
In another series of scams, Ghedia made fraudulent claims about his position at Bank of America to encourage seven people, including a relative, to invest in non-existent financial products with the company and Goldman Sachs from 2016 to 2020. On Friday, he was jailed at Southwark Crown Court for a total of six years and nine months on 30 combined counts of fraud.
Ghedia was later criticized by police for his lack of a “moral compass” and lack of boundaries when it comes to personal relationships. Sentencing Judge Deborah Taylor called Ghedia a “persistent fraudster and liar.” She said: ‘This was a contrived, extensive and complex fraud using the names and reputations of doctors without their knowledge. Complete disregard for their names and reputation.
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Regarding the investment fraud, she said: “You have devastated them (the victims), with complete disregard for their mental well-being and their finances. All have been left scarred. The Judge Taylor added: “It had a strong culpability as it involved significant offenses with extensive planning.”
Jack Talbot, prosecuting, had exposed what he described as “significant cases of fraud”. Ghedia falsely claimed to have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and said it was likely he would only live a maximum of a year in a scam worth more than £1.2million, a said the court.
Ghedia produced fake medical documents and letters from Dr Nick Maisey, a consultant oncologist at the London Clinic, a private hospital in central London. Judge Taylor told Ghedia, “Your own forgery tripped you up.” In its other scam, Ghedia made victims lose a total of £600,000 after learning they could double or triple their money in a short period of time.
Mr Talbot told the court that among the victims was a cousin whom Ghedia had urged to invest in a non-existent Goldman Sachs portfolio. In total, more than £63,000 was paid into three bank accounts belonging to him. Another victim was his former taxi driver and his wife, who lost just over £104,000. The couple took out loans and had to sell their home to cover the costs, the court heard.
On some occasions, Ghedia made “appalling claims”, falsely claiming that her daughter had been killed in a car accident, to avoid communicating with the victims. Another victim, a grandfather, said in a press release his “embarrassment” after being defrauded by Ghedia.
All of the victims knew him before the scams, some being the parents of his children’s classmates. Mr Talbot said Ghedia was ‘highly’ culpable due to the ‘continuing period of offences’ over five years. He also told the court that the ex-banker owned “high-value property and vehicles”, raised his children privately and led a “lavish lifestyle”.
Benjamin Waidhofer, defending, argued that the offenses “did not take place” over a significant period of time, while recounting Ghedia’s good character. Mr Waidhofer said: ‘The defendant has accepted the possibility of a custodial sentence and fully accepts his responsibility.’
Speaking of compensation, he added: “In all likelihood the victims will be substantially, if not completely, whole.” Ghedia, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, had entered an early guilty plea, the court heard.
Detective Constable Daniel Weller, of the City of London Police, said: ‘It is both worrying and despicable that Ghedia is operating systems put in place to help terminally ill people – not to fulfill the pockets of greedy fraudsters. Ghedia shows no signs of having a moral compass. Hopefully some time behind bars will give him the chance to find one.
Detective Constable Simon Andrews said: ‘Personal connections were also no limit to Ghedia’s crimes, as he even went to extremes in cheating on his own relative for financial gain.’
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