Ashcott Solicitors secure another acquittal, the fight for justice continues
Asif Iqbal was unanimously acquitted at Leeds Crown Court on 19th August 2014 of Conspiracy to Defraud and Money Laundering offences.
He was charged alongside 4 other defendants on Operation Belle, a large-scale investigation into the workings of various companies that were involved in miss-selling council tax rebanding schemes and then enforcing undue debts.
Some defendants also faced charges of conspiring to blackmail.
Mr Iqbal had started work as a sales person for convicted businessman Jack Darell Henry in 2011, and later started up his own company called Smart Band, operating from Huddersfield.
The matter was prosecuted by North Yorkshire Trading Standards (Scambusters), who alleged that when Mr Iqbal became a company director in 2012 he had conspired with Mr Henry and others to defraud customers, over an 18-month period.
He was also involved in the setting up of bank accounts and received moneys from Mr Henry, again as the prosecution put it as part of the conspiracy but further, to launder the proceeds of crime and the dishonest gains from elderly customers, many of whom were very aged and frail.
Mr Iqbal admitted, as part of his defence, miss-selling to elderly customers, and telling them untruths to secure sales as an eager salesman, but denied being part of a conspiracy and knowing or suspecting that he was dealing with proceedings of crime, despite handling cheques and receiving bank transfers.
Aschott Solicitors instructed defence barrister Soheil Khan who practices from No.6 Chambers in Leeds, and Thomas Bingham Chambers in London. He specialises in serious crime, including fraud and money laundering offences and also has a strong prosecution practice.
The co-defendants in the case were of previous good character, whereas Mr Iqbal had numerous convictions, including for matters of dishonesty.
Despite all of the above difficulties and the legal complexities involved as inherent in conspiracy cases, the jury deliberated for some 3 days, before returning unanimous verdicts of not guilty on both counts for Mr Iqbal.
He is the only one of five defendants to have been acquitted on all counts.
Ashcott Solicitors continue their fight for justice!