Two fraudsters netted £1.3 million after ordering huge quantities of wholesale goods using false identities. Malik, 31, and Ahmed, 24, were both jailed at Manchester Crown Court on Friday after admitting the crimes.
Taking advantage of the credit system used by businesses, the pair charged the goods to the company accounts of legitimate businesses.
They then arranged for hauliers to collect the goods and deliver them to various locations across Greater Manchester.
The items were then sold on to pre-arranged buyers.
Malik, of Pytha Fold Road, Withington, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation and was jailed for two and a half years.
Ahmed, of Martindale Crescent, Longsight, was locked up for two years after admitting two counts of fraud by false representation.
The conmen were targeted by Greater Manchester Police’s Fraud Investigation Team with support from the City of London’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.
Following their arrests it was established that they were responsible for committing 90 frauds to the value of £1.3 million.
Superintendent Danny Inglis from GMP’s Serious Crime Division said officers will put a stop to criminals profiting from the hard work of others.
He said: No matter how big or small the company, fraud has a detrimental impact on business. It affects everyone, from shareholders and owners to front-line staff and customers. Money and products stolen can lead to companies losing business, prices going up and normal people losing their jobs.
We are helping companies to understand the risks that fraudsters pose and encouraging them to treat £40,000 worth of goods in the same way a company would treat £40,000 worth of cash. With stringent checks and close working relationships with their clients.
Unfortunately, organised criminals are regularly targeting successful UK businesses. We can only put a stop to this crime by being watchful, being alert and being one step ahead and smarter than those who try to take advantage.