Couple charged with fraud at a catalogue company in Lancashire
December 4, 2011 by Michael
A couple has been arrested for committing fraud at a call centre for a catalogue company in Lancashire.
Salim and Ameena Patel are the husband and wife who were arrested and charged over offences of fraud at a call centre for Littlewoods Catalogue Company. Salim worked at the Littlewoods call centre in Blackburn and he had devised a scam where he would take customer details to pass onto his wife who would then make telephone orders, posing as account holders.
Littlewoods commented on the situation, saying that they had noticed that the orders were fraudulent before any goods were dispatched. The company runs is a multichannel retailer and it runs its mail order department store via call centres, a website and via catalogue printing.
Preston Crown Court found the couple guilty and sentenced Salim Patel to a 33 month jail sentence which has been suspended for 18 months, and his wife Ameena was ordered to undertake 150 hours of work without pay.
As more companies like Littlewoods make the move from being pure-play retailers in one channel, such as using catalogue printing as their sole sales channel, they could potentially risk more acts of fraud being committed as there are more opportunities to do so. Luckily, Littlewoods had sufficient monitoring in place to detect this fraud before it affected customers or profits.
Littlewoods commented on the situation, with a spokesperson saying:
“We welcome the outcome of the trial.”
Both parties who were charged pleaded guilty.