James Thacker has concluded a 5 year landmark fraud case. Operation Crystal was the first access to work fraud to be charged and prosecuted in the Criminal courts. 11 defendants (of which 10 were deaf) were convicted over the course of two trials in 2014 and 2015. Shahab Reza, the main perpetrator of the fraud was sentenced to 7 ½ years’ imprisonment on a plea of guilty.
Initially instructed for restraint applications in 2011, James secured sizeable confiscation orders following a 4 day hearing at Southwark Crown Court. Shahab Reza’s benefit was deemed to be in excess of £1million. Shehnaz Reza’s benefit was deemed to be in excess of £900,000. Confiscation orders were made in both cases in excess of £700,000.
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