Stonebridge woman accused of conning O2 in £5k iPhone fraud
- Credit: central news
A university graduate from Stonebridge duped O2 out of £5,168 worth of iPhones by pretending to be a company director, the Old Bailey heard.
Anne Bharwani, 24, of Hilltop Avenue, signed up for 16 iPhone 5S contracts in the space of two months using forged bank statements and bogus purchase orders, it is said.
The Old Bailey heard she allegedly claimed to work for eight different companies as a director but when O2 came to collect the bills, the firms had no idea about the contracts and said Bharwani had never worked for them.
Bharwani is claimed to have used fake documents for firms including Wisdom Care Finance, Donoma Power Ltd, LSG Investments and Europa Assets 1 Ltd to secure the contracts.
In each case, she handed over mocked-up papers with letterheads supposed to belong from the company, along with bank statements to support her claim to be from the firm.
Investigators found in some case the companies used had no employees and no need for mobile phones, and in all cases they had never heard of Bharwani.
Prosecutor James Benson also told the jury that bank statements purporting to come from Five Arrows Leasing Holdings, the Rothschild subsidiary, included purchases at Hugo Boss and Richer Sounds.
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He added: “These would simply never be purchases by a commercial business like Five Arrows.”
Bharwani, who graduated in 2011 from the University of Kent with a BA in Political Science and Government, told the court she believed she was genuinely acting for the companies when she signed up for the phones.
She said she had been taken on as an intern by a man claiming to be the owner of the companies involved.
She denies eight counts of fraud by false representation.
The trial continues.