A diamond fraudster who swindled more than 100 elderly investors out of £2.5million by convincing them to plough their life savings into jewels in a boiler room scam has been jailed for more than three years.
David Shivmangal (48) and Glenn Ward (52), were part of Carter Stamford. This was a front used to commit fraud between January 2014 & March 2016.
They cold called elderly victims, used pressure sales tactics to persuade them to put their savings in diamonds. The fraudsters had purchased the items at a bargain price before selling them for up to ten times their original value.
The safe storage allowed for the protection of diamonds which was a boon to the sellers who could then resell them to other victims.
More than 100 victims lost their savings after they were convinced to invest despite Shivmangal and the gang promising them a return.
On Monday, the men were sentenced to fraud and money laundering offenses at Southwark Crown Court.
Judge Alexander Milne QC told the court: ‘Carter Stamford was in fact, nothing but a shell company, it had no employees.’
David Shivmangal, 48, was jailed for three years and nine months for fraud and money laundering offences at Southwark Crown Court
In an effort to prove that the diamonds were real and worthy of the money victims paid, the company issued false certificates.
Judge Milne continued: ‘Even a cursory reading of the certificates showed them to be wholly unreliable, as they purported to value diamonds which the company in fact had never seen.
‘The so-called Escrow accounts behind which the company was hiding provided no protection to the clients.
‘You knew from the outset that the diamonds were being bought by the firm and were being sold from six to 10 times what they were worth,
‘It is striking you [Ward]Keep your name out of official records. The damage inflicted will reverberate with those victims for the rest of their lives.’
A 75-year old man with dementia and his wife described one victim as “scum”.
He said: ‘I would describe the impact of losing the £35,000 as a major disaster.
‘I invested this money to help to assist my family in our retirement and for financial commitments with our health.
‘I now find myself and my family suffering greatly, physically, mentally and financially.
‘The men who contacted me on the phone and persuaded me to invest my savings that I have worked hard for. I would describe them as scum.’
Addressing Shivmangal, Judge Milne said the fraudster had a ‘leading role’ and ‘effectively did everything’.
He added: ‘It is exceptional to have so many friends come forward and speak with such affection and respect.
‘I understand entirely why you were embarrassed about your conviction.’
Shivmangal was addressed by Judge Milne, who said that the fraudster played a leading role and “effectively did all” Image: Southwark Crown Court
Prior to his sentence being handed down, a friend of Shivmangal told the court he was ‘proud to call him a friend’ and that it was ‘not going to change’.
A friend said that he was “genuinely shocked” to learn of the verdicts.
Shivmangal from Purley (Surrey) was convicted for conspiracy to defraud as well as entering or becoming involved in a money laundering scheme.
His sentence was three years, nine months.
Ward was convicted in Orpington, Kent of being involved or entering into a money laundering scheme.
He was also held for three more years.
Roger Makanjuola, unit head of the CPS’s Specialist Fraud Division, said: ‘This was a particularly unpleasant fraud, which resulted in vulnerable victims losing their life savings and impacted on their physical and mental health.
‘The defendants had cynically targeted elderly and generally inexperienced investors.
‘The investors were cold-called at home and pressured into investing money in schemes with the promise of high-value returns.
‘The fraudsters presented themselves in a credible way and secured the trust of over 100 victims.
‘The only people to benefit from the schemes were the fraudsters themselves and those who assisted them in laundering the proceeds of their crimes.’