A mortgage fraud gang led by a self-proclaimed faith healer and ‘Pir’ has been ordered to pay back £4.3 million or face a further 20 years in prison.
The gang of nine, who were jailed for a total of 52 years and nine months in April 2016, included the self-proclaimed ‘Pir’ Pandariman real name Mehboob Akhtar, Pandariman’s wife Kadija Akhtar, 54, and daughter Rushbmmani Akhtar, 29.
Pandariman ran the Muslim charity the Darbar Unique Centre, in Stoke-on-Trent but used donations from followers to set up a portfolio of 41 buy-to-let properties, with the help of his right-hand man, Mohammed Zabbir Hussain who admitted his part in the huge scam.
The conman and his gang netted more than £15 million from the con which they ran for more than a decade.
Proceeds of crime hearings for the gang this week heard they actually got away with a staggering £15,569,554.
Pandariman, of Farman Close, Meir, and Zabbir Hussain, of Castleton Road, Lightwood, made a total of £10.9 million alone from the complex conspiracy.
Nine defendants have now been ordered by Birmingham Crown Court to pay back a total of £4,346,853 – believed to be one of the biggest ever single proceeds of crime recoveries by West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service.
Pandariman had been jailed for 14 years last April after being found guilty of cheating Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and eight offences of conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud and mortgage fraud.
His sentence was later cut to 11 years by the Court of Appeal in London.
However, followers of Pandariman remain adamant he did no wrong and maintain that he was a ‘great spiritual man, who had helped raise several million pounds in donations to help poor people’.
The gang must now pay back a total of £4.3 million or face a further 20 years in prison.