Bogus faith healer told to pay back just £35,000

A bogus faith healer who made more than £800,000 from fraudulent schemes has been ordered to pay back just £35,000.

Express and Star, UK/January 6, 2014

Niem Mohammed was jailed for 18 months in 2010 for conning victims out of their cash by promising miracle cures and solutions to personal problems.

At a hearing at Wolverhampton Crown Court he was given six months to pay back £35,000, despite having benefited by around £816,000 from his scam.

During the Proceeds of Crime Act hearing, the court was told how Mohammed had previously been made bankrupt, and that the figure being sought was realistically realisable.

Judge Jonathan Gosling told Mohammed, aged 45 and from Altrincham Road in Wilmslow, Cheshire, that if the money is not paid, a 15-month prison sentence will be activated.

Father-of-four Mohammed, who snared his victims with expensive adverts in magazines and on television, pocketed nearly £15,000 by falsely promising one couple he could help them conceive a child.

He also promised another victim he could reunite her with her estranged son.

For a starting fee of £50, Mohammed said he could solve problems through prayers and spells.

He also told his victims to wear ‘sacred’ jewellery and dissolve special scrolls in glasses of water and drink them.

But during a trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court in 2010, jurors heard how the payment demands would quickly spiral out of control.

The fraudster was brought to justice after a Smethwick couple complained to Sandwell Council and trading standards investigated.

Mohammed claimed to be a powerful faith healer from a sacred part of India but was actually born and raised in Liverpool.

He also used an image of a wise-looking spiritual elder called Peer Syed Sahib on his website.

Jurors were also shown Mohammed’s television advert which had been aired on the Asian TV channel Zee TV.

The advert, in Punjabi, was promoting Peer Syed Sahib’s ability to solve people’s personal problems.

He was found guilty by majority verdict of 11 charges of fraud and deception.

The trial heard how the fraudster was brought to justice after a couple from Smethwick complained to Sandwell Council and trading standards officers investigated.

Bob Charnley, deputy trading standards manager, said one of his officers posed as a man desperate to be reunited with his runaway daughter.

Mohammed said he could bring the pair back together within a week for £50 but soon asked for another £700.

“Once officers had got enough information, we obtained warrants for a number of addresses,” Mr Charnley said at the time.

“We found paperwork and computers that led us to other victims and further evidence. He lived in a big house on the outskirts of Cheshire where all the footballers live.

“He had a Ferrari, a Bentley, plasma screen TVs and a safe filled with gold South African Krugerrands.

“This man is no different from the rogue traders who target elderly victims in their homes,” he said.

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