Suspended jail sentence for Stonebridge woman who conned O2 out of £5k worth of iPhones
- Credit: central news
A university graduate from Stonebridge who conned £5,000 worth of iPhones out of O2 by posing as a director of blue chip companies has been given a suspended jail sentence.
Anne Bharwani, 25, of Hilltop Avenue, swindled the mobile phone giant out of 16 iPhone 5S contracts in just two months and used the cash to buy designer goods.
She used forged bank statements and bogus purchase orders to carry out the scam, posing as an executive at eight different companies, including international shipping firm Boreas and a subsidiary of global financiers Rothschild.
She was arrested in August last year after attempting a ninth fraud with more forged documents.
Bharwani collapsed in the dock sobbing uncontrollable when the jury found her guilty of eight counts of fraud, between June and August 2014, after a four day trial at the Old Bailey last month.
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Bharwani had claimed she had been acting in good faith and was persuaded to sign up for the contracts by a man who told her he owned all eight companies.
Yesterday she was sentenced to four months imprisonment suspended for 18 months. Judge Mark Lucraft QC told her: “You said that the paperwork was from a company you were interning at.
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“You said this company was a friend of your stepfather’s – you claimed that what you were doing was not dishonest and you had authority to take out these contracts.
“The account you gave was entirely implausible, having said that I have little doubt that you were not acting alone and there were others behind the scenes.”
He added that none of the phones had been recovered and she had made a ‘significant personal gain’ including buying herself a designer handbag, laptop and several pairs of expensive trainers.