A judge compared a fraudster to the former first lady of the Philippines when a court heard she used the proceeds of a bank scam to spend a fortune on designer shoes.
Married couple Emmanuel Scotts, 53, and Behnaz Khoram-Scotts, 51, both from Chelsea, West London, pleaded guilty to fraud by misrepresentation and conspiracy to commit fraud following an investigation by the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) , a specialized police force funded by the banking and card industry.
The couple opened six different bank accounts with false names after lying about their profession of presenting themselves as wealthy.
Behnaz Khoram-Scotts, 51, was sentenced to 20 months in prison on a 2-year statement.
Emmanuel Scotts, 53, was sentenced to four years in prison, but 392 days was deducted from his sentence for being under an electronically controlled curfew
The couple used their fake bank accounts to deposit foreign checks, one of which was £ 81,000.
Prosecutor Sam Barker said London Crown Court police had recovered 63 pairs of designer shoes from the Khoram-Scotts house, including Jimmy Choo, Gucci and Louis Vuitton with her ill-gotten gains.
Judge Nigel Peters cut him off and said, “Competition with Mrs. Marcos.”
Imelda Marcos was first lady of the Philippines for 21 years, during which time she and her husband stole billions, and part of the money went to her shoe collection, which consists of more than 3,000 pairs.
The prosecutor added: ‘They never had any significant legitimate income, they lived only from fraudulent activity. The items purchased with the fraud included designer clothes. ‘
Judge Peters said, “Well, there’s no point in having ill-gotten gains and not going to Selfridges, right?”
Mr Scotts was arrested at Heathrow Airport on April 15, 2020, where approximately £ 7,000 in euros, various credit cards, checkbooks and a bank statement with a balance of £ 104,000 were found in his luggage.
The DCPCU also searched Mr. Scotts’ second home address in Queenstown Road, Wandsworth, and found blank checks and bank cards in other account names, as well as written account information.
Former Filipino first lady Imelda Marcos looks at her famous shoe collection in 2001
Judge Peters said to the couple, “It wouldn’t surprise you to be rightly portrayed as serial fraudsters.
‘You have enjoyed the fruits of crime for a lifetime. You have spent time enjoying luxury accommodation without paying.
You portrayed yourself as big players, high rollers, which allowed you to hunt for the bank, opening accounts with false names.
‘This was a well thought out fraud, well planned, with advanced tools of the trade.
“There is no indication in your lifestyle that you are willing to change.”
Scotts was sentenced to four years in prison, but 392 days was deducted from his sentence for having been under an electronically controlled curfew for the past two years while on bail.
Khoram-Scotts was sentenced to 20 months in prison on a 2-year statement.
Detective Constable Martin Godsave, who investigated the case before the DCPCU, noted, “This man and woman mistakenly believed they could get away with financing their lifestyle by committing fraud.
Fortunately, we were able to track down these fraudsters by working closely with the bank to bring them to justice.
“This conviction is a warning to those who think they can benefit financially from fraud, that they will be caught and punished.”