A jailed fraudster has been ordered to pay back more than £570,000, or face a further term of imprisonment.
26 year-old Amuda Sheidu, who lived the high life on other people's money, is currently serving a 27-month jail term after admitting laundering £170,000 for an international crime gang. He was found by financial investigators to have reaped £578,632 from his criminal activity.
In a hearing at Norwich Crown Court, Sheidu was ordered to pay the £41,248 seized from his bank accounts when he was arrested, in cmpensation to three of his victims. The scams included false lottery claims, bogus charity collections and non-existent commodities deals. He has been given six months to pay back the balance of £537,383 or face a further four years in prison. The debt will stay with him whether or not he serves further jail time.
Sheidu set up accounts from a number of addresses in Peterborough along with a company called Mosty Ltd and another called Guaranteed Services Ltd. Victims – who lived in a number of different countries – were duped into transferring large amounts of money into Sheidu's accounts before it was withdrawn from ATMs across the country. One paid £240,000 into one of the fraudulent schemes run by the gang, only £5,000 of which passed through Sheidu's accounts – indicating the scale of the operation.
Sheidu is thought to have entered the UK using forged documents before claiming asylum as a Sudanese national. It is believed he is originally from Nigeria.
A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: "This case shows that we will continue to pursue criminal assets even after the offender has been sentenced. Sheidu was living in the UK as an asylum seeker who was not working and not entitled to benefits, but records showed a huge amount of money was passing through his accounts. While he was not orchestrating the fraud he certainly benefitted financially." The spokesman continued: "We have identified a number of victims who have been tricked out of their life savings. We're pleased that they will now receive some compensation. We regularly re-visit these confiscation orders and should Sheidu ever come into money, we will be applying to take it off him."