JEREMY Corbyn’s son wrote to a judge to support a “charitable” neighbour who scammed elderly women out of £10,000,
Benjamin Corbyn, 32 praised Nusret Celik in a character reference letter, a court heard.
Ben Corbyn wrote a character reference letter praising his ‘charitable’ neighbour[/caption]
Nusret Celik was jailed for 28 months for scamming elderly women out of £10,000, a court heard[/caption]
However Celik was jailed for 28 months for laundering money scammed from pensioners.
Celik was the “senior partner” in a conspiracy to transfer the proceeds of a scam in which two elderly women were called by people posing as police officers and asked to hand over almost £10,000 to help in a “top secret” investigation.
The 38-year-old recruited Aurelio Vigneri, a 47-year-old man who agreed to let his account be used for the fraud, and gave him inst on the progress of the frauds, the court heard.
Judge Emma Nott said: “The victims were vulnerable, elderly and likely to be left exceptionally distressed by what had occurred.”
In mitigation for Celik, defending barrister Tom Nicholson told the crown court that his client’s neighbours in the affluent London borough of Islington – including Benjamin Corbyn, the Labour Leader’s eldest son – had written character references on Celik’s behalf.
The victims were vulnerable, elderly and likely to be left exceptionally distressed by what had occurred
Judge Emma Nott
Mr Corbyn’s note was not read aloud in the sentencing hearing at Reading Crown Court, but Celik’s barrister told the hearing that it painted a picture of Celik as a “charitable and a good figure in the local community.”
Mr Nicholson said: “These paint a picture of this defendant being quite a different type of person. It is a very significant fall for him to be here, almost quite a puzzling situation to have found himself in.”
Judge Nott told Celik, of New Orleans Walk, in Islington, north London, that the words from his neighbours, including Mr Corbyn, were a mitigating factor when she came to pass sentence, saying: “I take account of all character references, which show the respect with which you are held in your local community.”
Celik’s barrister said Ben Corbyns ;etter painted a picture of Celik as a charitable and a good figure in the local community[/caption]
Celik was jailed for 28 months at Reading Crown Court[/caption]
However, the judge, sitting at Reading Crown Court, also said to Celik: “You were the senior partner, directing Mr Vigneri as to what to do, telling him initially where to go, what to do, how to behave, keeping him involved as to the progress of the frauds.”
Mr Corbyn, a youth football coach for Premier League side Watford, and the eldest of the Labour leader’s three sons with his Chilean ex-wife Claudia Bracchita, declined to comment at the family’s £1.2million home in Islington.
In 2015, his Labour leader father faced a backlash after he sent a letter to magistrates in support of a constituent who had conned cash from the elderly to fund Islamic State terrorists. Mohamed Dahir was later jailed for 21 months.
A friend of Ben Corbyn said: “Ben was surprised and saddened to learn of the court charges and criminal activity of Nusret, who is an acquaintance. Ben had no knowledge of and had no reason to suspect the illegal activity which Nusret was involved in, and Ben utterly deplores such activity.”
Judge Nott said the defendants had acted as “money men” and told them: “Both of you knew full well that you were involved in a conspiracy to transfer criminal property, the proceeds of fraud.
“The victims were vulnerable, elderly and likely to be left exceptionally distressed by what had occurred. You did not know who any victims were going to be, but frankly you did not care. You were willing to be involved in an organised and criminal enterprise in order to obtain money.”
Prosecuting, Chris Stopa said both elderly victims – Heather Bellamy, 79 and 83-year-old Nancy
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Williams – were contacted over the phone by fraudsters in 2016.
Judge Nott said: “There was an attempt to conceal evidence, in fact compelling evidence that reflects your role in these offences.”
She jailed Celik for 28 months and Vigneri for 12 months.
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