Banker who faked having terminal cancer jailed over scams worth £1.8m

Rajesh Ghedia said he would be dead within a year and faked medical documents to claim insurance money

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A former banker who faked having terminal cancer as part of a series of scams worth a combined £1.8 million has been jailed for almost seven years.

Rajesh Ghedia, 42, said he would be dead within a year, faking medical documentation and letters from a consultant to claim insurance money between October 2020 and May last year.

In another series of scams, Ghedia made fraudulent claims about his position at Bank of America to encourage seven people, including one relative, to invest in non-existent financial products with the company and Goldman Sachs from 2016 to 2020.

On Friday, he was jailed at Southwark Crown Court for a total of six years and nine months over 30 combined counts of fraud.

Ghedia was later slammed by police officers for his lack of a “moral compass” and having no boundaries when it came to personal relationships.

Rajesh Ghedia
Rajesh Ghedia

Judge Deborah Taylor, sentencing, dubbed Ghedia a “persistent fraudster and liar”.

She said: “This was a contrived, extensive and complex fraud using the names and reputation of doctors without them knowing.

“A complete disregard to their names and reputations.”

In relation to the investment fraud, she said: “You have caused them (the victims) devastation, showing utter disregard for their mental wellbeing and finances.

“All have been left scarred.”

Judge Taylor added: “This had high culpability as these were significant offences with extensive planning.”

Jack Talbot, prosecuting, had set out what he described as “significant cases of fraud”.

Ghedia falsely claimed to have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and said that it was likely he would only live for another year at the most in a scam worth over £1.2 million, the court heard.

Ghedia produced fake medical documentation and letters from Dr Nick Maisey, a consultant oncologist at the London Clinic, a private hospital in central London.

Judge Taylor told Ghedia: “Your own forgery tripped you up.”

In his other scam, Ghedia caused victims to lose a total of £600,000 after being told they could double or triple their money over a short period of time.

Mr Talbot told the court that among the victims was a cousin whom Ghedia had urged to invest in a non-existent Goldman Sachs portfolio.

A total of more than £63,000 was instead paid into three bank accounts belonging to him.

Another victim was his former taxi driver and his wife, who lost a total of just over £104,000.

The couple took out loans and had to sell their home to cover the costs, the court heard.

On some occasions, Ghedia made “dreadful assertions”, falsely saying his daughter had been killed in a car accident, to avoid communicating with the victims.

Another victim, a grandfather, told in a statement of his “embarrassment” after being swindled by Ghedia.

All the victims had known him before the scams took place, some being the parents of his children’s school friends.

Mr Talbot said Ghedia was “highly” culpable due to the “continual period of offending” over five years.

He also told the court the ex-banker has “high value” property and vehicles, privately educates his children and lives a “lavish lifestyle”.

Benjamin Waidhofer, defending, argued the offences “did not” take place over a significant period of time, as well as telling of Ghedia’s good character.

Mr Waidhofer said: “The defendant has come to terms with the possibility of a custodial sentence and entirely accepts responsibility.”

Speaking about compensation, he added: “In all likelihood the victims will be made substantially, if not completely, whole.”

Ghedia, of Maidenhead, in Berkshire, had entered an early guilty plea, the court heard.

Detective Constable Daniel Weller, of City of London Police, said: “It is both disturbing and despicable that Ghedia exploited systems which are set up to help those who are terminally ill – not to line the pockets of greedy fraudsters.

“Ghedia shows no sign of having a moral compass. Hopefully some time behind bars will give him the opportunity to find one.”

Detective Constable Simon Andrews, said: “Personal relationships were also not a boundary for Ghedia’s crimes, as he even went to the extreme of deceiving his own relative for financial gain.”