Second charge and bridging loan lender Spring Finance helped to uncover fraudulent activity which led to the conviction of a man who falsely claimed to have cancer.
Rajesh Ghedia, from Surrey, was found guilty of 30 counts of fraud totalling £ 2m on 17 June at Southwark Crown Court and sentenced to six years and nine months in prison.
The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), Fraud Operations Team and Asset Recovery Team ran two investigations into Ghedia. He was found to have defrauded insurance and pension firms out of over £ 1.3m by claiming he had stage four pancreatic cancer and less than a year to live.
He also exploited his role at an investment bank to convince family, friends and acquaintances to invest in non-existent financial products. Some £ 625,000 was transferred into his personal account for these investments.
Following his sentencing, he is now subject to confiscation proceedings and the City of London Police’s Asset Recovery Team (ART) will seek to recover the funds which were fraudulently obtained.
Ghedia had a mortgage with Spring Finance and the lender was informed of his diagnosis after he stopped making payments and Spring threatened to take the matter to court.
Spring was given accompanying medical reports as well as a life insurance claim. Its servicing team were said to be suspicious about the authenticity of the documents so referred to the lender’s fraud investigator who contacted the care providers.
It was found that the named doctors did not work at the companies that the documents claimed.
Ghedia also told Spring over the phone that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June 2020, however the reports suggested his diagnosis dated back to July 2019.
In May 2021, Spring sent a report to Action Fraud. In the same month, an insurance company paid Ghedia just over £ 1.2m on the back of the false claim, after they contacted one of the doctors named who insisted Ghedia was receiving weekly treatments.
The following month, IFED launched an investigation into Ghedia after receiving documents from Spring through Action Fraud. The doctor named in the report confirmed that he did not have a patient by the name Rajesh Ghedia.
Ghedia was also found to have submitted applications for two more life insurance policies in June and July 2021. For both these applications, he provided reports stating that he was not undergoing any medical treatment, nor had he been diagnosed with any illnesses.
Spring did not suffer any financial loss from the loan taken out by Ghedia but was praised by the authorities for assisting with the investigation.
Erika Leung, compliance manager at Spring Finance, said: “As soon as this case landed on my desk, it was clear Ghedia’s story did not add up. The timeline of his diagnosis coupled with the lack of contact and suspicious medical documents immediately raised alarm bells, leading us to report the case to Action Fraud. “I am pleased that we were able to assist the police with their investigation, which has resulted in Ghedia rightly facing justice for his crimes.”
Andrew Bloom, owner of Spring Finance, added: “I am exceptionally proud of the team at Spring. This case highlights how our robust processes and experienced staff helped uncover a fraud which other companies had failed to detect. ”
Shekina is the commercial editor at Mortgage Solutions. She has over four years’ experience in the B2B publishing market, with previous industries including the accounting, pet, funeral, hospitality, retail and jewelery trades. She currently reports on current events in the mortgage market and liaises with financial clients to produce sponsored content. Follow her on Twitter at @ShekinaMS