A father of five, captured his lavish lifestyle in pictures with his family but those pictures helped in jailing him.
Sohan Malik, 42, was involved in a scam of disappearance of luxury cars.
He posed for pictures wearing designer sunglasses and clothes in high-class restaurants and hotels with his wife and daughters. He drove high performance cars.
Sohan Malik’s family didn’t know he was in debt and was the ring leader of a scam where they would acquire high performance cars on hire purchase under bogus names.
Sohan used fake details to acquire a Nissan GTR worth £68,000 and an Audi RS4 worth £58,000. He gave the payment details of two different companies that he had set up with his brother-in-Law, Soha LTD and ISTN.
He would then cancel the direct debits and make off with the cars.
A total of six cars disappeared worth around £280k and police were only able to recover a Nissan Qashqai. It is believed the other cars have been sold.
When Sohan was arrested he claimed to have lost £70,000 in a business deal in 2012 but police found out about his luxury lifestyle from his pictures on Facebook.
Of the missing cars, three cars were once insured under Sohan’s name.
Three other men that were arrested in the investigation were cleared.
Sohan Malik pleaded guilty to fraud.
Judge Timothy Edwards sentenced Sohan Malik to jail for three years and four months and said you family will now suffer for your dishonesty.
The judge added: “You attended car showrooms to facilitate the obtaining of vehicles on behalf of third parties on a completely illegitimate basis.
“It seems to me you were involving others in the transactions and placing them at risk in becoming involved in criminal investigations.
“Only one of six vehicles were recovered and none of those containing the highest value vehicles were recovered. “They may have been sold to fund what appears to be something of a lavish lifestyle that was revealed on Facebook.
“It seems to me that you were adopting a managerial role and you did involve others and exposed them to actual prosecution.
“This took place over a significant period of time. It was a matter of only time before it was ultimately discovered and revealed as it was.”
Earlier prosecuting, Robert Smith, said: “Material was obtained which appeared to show he was involved in the obtaining of multiple identities.
“Whether he was using those identities with the knowledge of those individuals was not clear, but the documents added credence to the assertions made by the other three accused that Malik was using them as agents and that were recruited by him unknowingly.
“Put very simply, the defendant, using others as agents obtained a number of vehicles on hire purchase agreements and then simply cancelled the direct debit payments they had set up to pay for them, making off with the cars.
“He was the guiding hand behind the use of the three agents who ended up being charged, although others were involved.
“That there were others higher in the chain than the defendant is probable – however, Mr Malik was clearly acting in a managerial role.”
The court was told how three men under the direct instruction of Sohan went to get cars on hire purchase from Audi and Nissan dealership.
Mr Smith added: “The defendant immediately stopped payments afterwards. The sellers would demand return of the vehicles once payments stopped, but were ignored.
“While ISTN and Soha were apparently unconnected companies, the direct debit details provided were on one occasion identical.”
Mr Smith added: “That dealership had dealt with a man giving the name ‘Malik’ before, and he had set up the purchase of the vehicles, but for these vehicles it was someone giving another name who came and signed the documents for them.
“The salesman at that garage described how Malik often appeared with a number of others at the dealership and that some of them seemed to be acting on his behalf.”
Malik was arrested in November 2015 in Essex. He said his brother-in-law needed a vehicle, which Malik said he obtained and insured in his own name.
He said the others cars were obtained for ‘other people’, but their businesses went bust.
Mr Smith said: “He said he had never signed for vehicles himself and he was never a company director, so they were not obtained on his behalf, although he said he did visit the dealerships with others.
“He described the fact that three of these cars had very quickly been insured in his name as a mistake and said that somehow people he knew had taken advantage of him and for some reason used his name to insure cars.
“The value of the finance agreements entered into was a total of £280,603.13. While not necessarily the head of the organisation, he was a manager, so his role could accurately be described as ‘leading’.
“In any event, there was significant planning and the fraud was carried out over a significant period of time.
“There was also the involvement of others, but whilst there was no pressure exerted on others, they were, it seems, unwittingly drawn into criminality.”
In mitigation defence lawyer Vincent Dean, said: “The defendant is a family man with five children and they are reliant.
“The claim that these offences were in the context of the defendant being blamed for the loss of the £70,000 investment.
“The defendant contends that he facilitated this enterprise and had a major role in the enterprise. The first car was recovered but there is no information as to recovery of the other vehicles.”