A ‘manipulative and dishonest criminal’ who admitted using fraudulent tactics to scam over £400,000 from numerous victims, has been jailed for six years.
Essam Elmegrhi (51) of Tivoli Gardens, Grimsby pleaded guilty to nine counts of fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of forgery at Hull Crown Court last week.
The offences took place over the course of three years between December 2014 and July 2017.
Elmegrhi told his victims that he had launched a business linked to the Libyan Embassy supplying medical equipment, including ambulances, to Libya to assist with caring for those wounded in war.
He then asked for large investments, promising quick and profitable returns on their invested money, and saying that the funds were needed to help the business run.
When the money never materialised and a victim questioned him about missed repayments, Elmegrhi sent him a bank letter claiming it was proof that he had tried to pay the money back. However it was confirmed by the bank that this was a false document and had been forged to deceive the victim.
One of the victims described the impact of this fraud, in a victim impact statement, saying: “I doubt the effect of this ordeal will diminish with time, and I personally feel this will remain to be the single worst experience in my life.”
Officer in the case, DC Dan Gargon said: “Elmegrhi is a manipulator and a dishonest criminal who carefully plotted a sophisticated plan to scam a large amount of money from people who trusted him implicitly. He exploited their good nature and betrayed their trust which had a significant impact upon the victims and the local community.
“I hope that the victims and the local community are reassured by the lengthy custodial sentence and the fact that he is unable to continue his deception”
“I want to thank the victims for their support throughout the investigation and court process. This was an incredibly complex and protracted investigation and today’s result wouldn’t have been possible without their cooperation.”