Fraudster stole £81,000 from Bristol media company for house deposit and car loan

A fraudster has been brought to justice after stealing around £81,000 from a media company he worked for in Bristol. Muhammad Shafiq, 33, was convicted after stealing the money between January 2020 and June 2021 while having a financial role in the business.

He transferred money initially to his own bank account and then to a company he set up. Avon and Somerset Police said Shafiq paid the money back.

Bristol Crown Court was told last Thursday, May 9, that Shafiq, of Wells Road, Bristol, put the money towards a deposit on a house and a new car loan. The 33-year-old pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud by abuse of office.

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He was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work. PC Andrew Smetham, officer on the case, said: “Fraud is not a victimless crime. Even though the money was repaid, it was estimated that Shafiq’s actions had cost the company somewhere in the region of £40,000, due to his own expenses and recovery of losses.

“This conviction shows that we will pursue fraudsters and seek to bring them to justice for their crimes. We are now considering an application under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover any profits made by Shafiq as a result of his crime.”

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