Sacked Royal Mail worker Aimar Wajad jailed for Stoke-on-Trent parcel scam
SACKED Royal Mail worker Aimar Wajad has been jailed for masterminding a 'lost' parcels scam to claim hundreds of pounds in compensation.
The 34-year-old worked at Royal Mail's Etruria call centre and enlisted friends to join his scam.
They falsely claimed to have ordered goods online and then claimed compensation from Royal Mail when the 'parcels' were not delivered.
Wajad processed three compensation claims totalling £1,259 and then shared the payouts with his friends.
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But the scam was detected by Royal Mail with three more compensation claims totalling £1,200 awaiting payment and Wajad was arrested.
Now Wajad, of Keelings Road, Northwood, has been jailed for nine months after admitting fraud. He was also jailed for eight months after failing to declare a previous conviction for theft when he landed his Royal Mail job.
The sentences will run concurrently.
The fraudulent claims were submitted from November 2008 to May 2009.
John Gibson, prosecuting, told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court: "The fraud was discovered when a witness from Royal Mail noticed inconsistencies in five claims she was considering. For example, the weight given for an Acer laptop was incorrect.
"She also noticed that the addresses of the sender and the addressee did not make sense. In some cases it would have been easier to take the parcel to the delivery address than the post office."
The court heard Wajad first enlisted friend Aneel Babar into his scam. Father-of-three Babar then called in three of his friends, Haylea Wood, Nicky Cartlidge and Jonathan Thompson.
Part of the first compensation payout was shared with Babar, while the other two were paid to 24-year-old Wood.
Cartlidge, aged 24, of Louvain Avenue, Sneyd Green, and Thompson, aged 34, of Peascroft Road, Norton, were never paid.
The four friends all admitted conspiring to defraud Royal Mail.
Anis Ali, representing Wajad, said: "He's a married man with little record."
Jailing Wajad, Judge Mark Eades said: "You were at the very centre of this fraud."
Babar, aged 34, of Eaton Street, Hanley, was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work.
Wood, of Biddulph Road, Harriseahead, and Thompson must complete 100 hours of unpaid work. Cartlidge was given 75 hours of unpaid work.
Following yesterday's sentence, a Royal Mail spokesman said: "We will always seek to prosecute the tiny minority of people who abuse their position.
"Royal Mail customers should be confident in our services and systems, but where we are alerted to problems, either through our own checks or from information supplied by our customers, we take decisive action to investigate."