Indian-origin man jailed for defrauding property buyers in UK

London: An Indian-origin man has been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for fraud offences after he admitted to fleecing potential property buyers, many of them also of Indian origin, out of nearly 16,000 pounds, Scotland Yard said.

Jaspal Singh Juttla, 64, was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court in London on Thursday on four counts of fraud by false representation and one count of carrying on a regulated activity when not authorised to do so.

The offences occurred between May 2019 and January 2021 and Juttla pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing in August last year at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. The offences relate to four victims, where property buyers were conned into handing over approximately 15,790 pounds to Juttla impersonating as a mortgage adviser.

“Jaspal Singh Juttla is a persistent fraud who has exploited people in his own community, using their hard-earned money to fund his lifestyle,” said Detective Constable Anita Sharma, Financial Investigator in the Central Specialist Crime Unit of the Met Police.

“We are grateful to those victims who have been brave enough to come forward in this case but there may be other people conned by Juttla who have not spoken to police. I urge anyone who suspects they may be a victim of Juttla to come forward and report it by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or contacting them online,” she said.

The financial investigators from the Met’s Economic Crime team believe that there are other victims that have been scammed by the ruse and are yet to come forward.

Juttla claimed to be a mortgage adviser and offered to assist victims with property purchases. He would meet his clients who were predominantly of Indian heritage and some spoke little to no English at various locations in London, including Southall and Hayes in west London. Some victims were targeted at open house viewings.

The Met Police investigation found that Juttla often promised victims to fill out their mortgage applications, arrange a survey for them and put them in touch with a solicitor that would assist with a house purchase. Once the victims paid the fee requested by Juttla, he would ask for more money to cover other services that he had made up. None of these services were carried out and all arrangements failed to surface for the property buyers.

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On occasions, victims contacted him to ask what was going on, but Juttla would make up excuses in an attempt to put the victims at ease. In some instances, Juttla did provide victims with a refund by bank transfer but it was never the full amount of the payments he had originally received, the police said.

Juttla came to the attention of police in January 2021 after Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud, received a crime report from one of his victims. The Met Police said that Juttla was charged in July last year following a thorough investigation.

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