Serial Fraudster Jailed For Cheating Flat-Hunters Out Of £12,300
7 August 2019, 13:01 | Updated: 7 August 2019, 13:04
A serial fraudster who conned London renters into paying thousands of pounds for deposits on flats he advertised on Gumtree has been jailed.
Zhaker Darvesh, 29, agreed to lease out the flats to renters, but stopped replying to phone calls, emails and messages once they transferred the money for their deposits.
The victims each paid between £950 and £3,200 — a total of more than £12,300 — to move into the London flats in Rosedene Terrace, Leyton, and Hertsmere Road, Canary Wharf.
The court heard that the victims were not wealthy and most had come from mainland Europe to work.
It transpired that Mr Darvesh got the keys to one flat while working as an estate agent at Outlook Property.
He also got the keys to another after renting it out for himself under his own company Ariana Estates.
The victims of the scam did not know each other, but all reported Mr Darvesh to Action Fraud.
In court the prosecutor said: "Zhaker Darvesh acted as a rookie estate agent dishonestly collecting deposits for flats in east London.
"He drafted fake contracts and kept in contact with customers answering their queries and discussing move-in dates, before ghosting them after receiving payments."
Mr Darvesh was jailed for 13 months and two weeks at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday and ordered to pay back the money he stole.