Uni student's role in phone scam leaves law career in tatters
LAW student Faysel Abedin has been convicted of taking part in a scam to steal mobile phones.
The 20-year-old, who is in his second year at Staffordshire University, appeared at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday.
He and his uncle Mohammed Miah, aged 24, were recruited to help with a scheme in which the details of a phone company's customers were stolen and used to falsely obtain new Apple iPhones.
Calls were made to firm Hutchison 3G by someone purporting to be genuine customers arranging a phone upgrade.
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An address would be supplied for the delivery of the phones, where they would be picked up and sold on for a profit.
Both Abedin and Miah provided addresses where the iPhones could be delivered.
Heather Chamberlin, prosecuting, said: "They each provided addresses for the delivery of the iPhones – seven altogether, with a value of £4,200. Two were later recovered."
The court heard Abedin gave the address of his girlfriend's uncle, Wayne Bamford, in Lynmouth Grove, Chell, and a phone was delivered there in August 2010. A second one was delivered the next day.
Mr Bamford, who was unaware of the scam, became suspicious and would not hand the phones over. Instead, he took them to the police.
Abedin, of Woodrow Way, Chesterton, had also arranged for a friend of his girlfriend's to take delivery of a phone, offering her £10 to do so.
The court heard Miah, of Chief Street, Oldham, was working at an Indian restaurant in Nantwich at the time of the offence, and had offered Abedin £1,000 to get 10 addresses.
Miah pleaded guilty to five counts of theft, while his nephew admitted two charges of concealing criminal property.
Jason Holt, representing Abedin, said his client had believed his uncle was setting up a genuine business at first.
"He accepts latterly he was suspicious when he was offered money, which he never received.
"This offence comes from in part misguided loyalty, and in part an opportunity to make easy money.
"He puts his future career on the line with these convictions. He has run up a debt of £21,000 to study law and now without any certainty as to whether he can continue."
David Birrill, representing Miah, said his client was about to be married in Bangladesh.
He added: "He is a responsible young man who acts as a carer for his younger brother.
"He knows how serious this is and he is thoroughly ashamed."
Recorder William Edis QC handed each defendant a 12-month community order.
Miah also received a nine-month supervision order, must complete 240 hours unpaid work and pay £2,600 compensation. Abedin must do 190 hours unpaid work.