A woman who conned her UAE businessman boyfriend out of £250,000 claiming she could get him UK residency has been jailed.
Kadi-Al-Shamari, 29, met Moeen Al-Hamiri met in a London cafe in 2015 and the pair quickly started a relationship.
The businessman invited Al Shamari, of Acton, west London, on a three-week holiday to Dubai where she managed to spend £10,000 a week.
They talked of marriage and children, with Mr Al-Hamiri paying for her rent, expensive clothes and two credit cards with a £7,000-a-day limit.
She told him she could get him permanent right to remain in the UK but she would need £250,000 to sort it out with the Home Office.
He gave her £100,000 in one day to ‘finalise the papers’, but soon became suspicious when he realised he hadn’t seen any Home Office documents and there were spelling mistakes in the copies she gave him.
Sobbing and in a wheelchair after a back operation, Al-Shamari was jailed for fraud for two and a half years yesterday.
During her trial at Southwark Crown Court, jurors were told the fraud took place between July 1 2015 and October 31 2016.
Judge Nicholas Wood told her: ‘The jury found you guilty of defrauding Mr Al-Hamiri out of £250,000 on the pretence you were organising his right to remain in the United Kingdom.
‘Having presided over the trial it is clear to me you were not the only person involved in this.
‘It may well not have been your idea originally, but you were at the heart of the fraud and played a vital role.
‘It was a cynical, deceitful, heartless course of conduct. It was clear to you that he was falling for you and that he was generous and would be generous to you.
‘He thought you were in love with him and you played with that. You discussed starting family.’
Judge Wood read from Mr Al-Hamiri’s statement in which he said: ‘I feel so hurt that she could take me for such a fool. Unfortunately, I did not see it coming.’
Earlier Tyrone Silcott, prosecuting, told the court: ‘Back in 2015 Mr Al-Hamiri was on holiday in the UK and he met the defendant in a café in London.
‘They had a very pleasant conversation, they exchanged telephone numbers- the pair began a relationship.’
Al-Hamiri visited Mr Al-Hamiri in Dubai in April 2015 and they discussed starting a family.
‘Mr Al-Hamiri will tell you that the defendant suggested that he apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK so they could see more of each other. The defendant will tell you it was his suggestion.
‘What we do know is that she returned to the UK in May 2016 and she contacted him in July telling him that she had arranged an application with a solicitor and she needed £5,000 for the consultation with the solicitor which he duly sent via Western Union.
‘The defendant sent him photographs which appeared to show letters from the Home Office regarding the progression of his case. One such document requires the payment of £100,000 to finalise the papers.
‘Mr Al-Hamiri sent this money over two transfer services. Eventually, because large amounts of money were being transferred they blocked her from receiving such large money transfers as they were concerned about money laundering.
‘So, he then sent his bank card to her allowing her to draw money directly from his bank account. He sent two bank cards with the ability to withdraw £7,000 a day.
‘Later that year he became suspicious as he had not received any original documentation he had only received copies.’
But the documents contained spelling mistakers and grammatical errors, the court heard.
Al-Shamari claimed she had contacted two firms of solicitors to help with the application.
But Mr Silcott said one of the firms ‘Shaheen Solicitors’ does not exist according to Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The second company, ‘Aman Solicitors’, denies the paperwork is theirs.
Al-Shamari was arrested by police at home on 5 December 2015 and interviewed under caution, telling officers: ‘He was a man that who would look after me, spend on me, buy me expensive things and make me to travel you know in business class or wherever.
‘He used to buy me expensive things and spend on me if I need anything he used to give me money yeah (sic)’.
Mr Silcott added: ‘The Crown say that by the jury’s verdict this appears to be something which was planned pretty much from the very beginning, and that is an aggravating feature and Mr Al-Hamiri’s generosity and gullibility is matched only by this defendant’s greed and dishonesty during that period..’
Brian Russell, defending Al-Shamari, said: ‘There is an argument that this was anything other than sophisticated.
‘One only has to look as those letters at the start. Anyone looking at these letters should have been on notice within minutes that there was something wrong with the whole scheme.
‘They came from no official source, certainly not from the Home Office.’
Mr Russell said Al-Shamari had an operation on her lower back to remove a tumour and has been wheelchair-bound since September.
Mr Russell added: ‘We say from that same letter she is the primary carer for her mother and the difficulties they have with her younger brother.
‘Were as to most of us £250,000 would represent a significant detriment, of course this is a man where it did not.
‘I cannot claim she is remorseful, because she had her trial and maintains she did not commit this offence.’
Al-Shamari was jailed over two counts of fraud, which she denied.