A man who defrauded a worshiper of A$2.7 million (US$1.9 million) and gambled everything away has been sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Elimination of the victim’s life savings
A man who defrauded a worshiper in a religious community in Perth has been sentenced to six years and nine months in prison. Munir Muzaffar Fakhrud Hasanali received A$2.7 million (US$1.9 million) from his 66-year-old victim between June 2017 and November 2019, betting most of the money.
The victim initially agreed to a A$30,000 loan guarantee
A jury in a district court found the 42-year-old guilty of 82 fraud-related offenses. The two men were part of an Islamic religious community in Perth. There is a tradition within the society of people lending money without charging any interest to their fellow members. The problems started when the victim initially agreed to a A$30,000 loan guarantee (US$21,348).
Al-Hasnali then constantly targeted the man, eventually eliminating his savings. The fraudster claimed that he needed the cash to fund commercial projects that did not actually exist. He used detailed stories in order to explain why he needed the funds, in one case, and to show documents to support his story.
The smallest amount borrowed was A$1,000 ($712) and the largest was A$200,000 ($142,323). Hasnali only paid A$41,000 (US$29,000) over the entire period. Police arrested him in December 2019 following an investigation by the Perth Financial Crimes Squad.
Hasnali immediately admitted that he lost his gambling money
After his arrest, Al Hasnali immediately admitted that he had lost the gambling money and had no possible way to repay the victim. At the time, the authorities conducted further investigations to find out whether Hassan Ali had also borrowed money from other people, but no evidence of this ever emerged.
Commenting on Hasnali’s actions, Prosecutor Rebecca Sleth described the victim as “a hardworking, trusting and kind man who lost his dignity and his savings due to the cruel greed of a very deceitful man”.
serious gambling case
During court proceedings, it was revealed that Hasnali had a serious gambling problem and most of the borrowed money either went to fund this addiction in casinos.
Calculated deception pattern
Despite receiving various personal references regarding Hasnali, the judge believed that the fraudster had shown no remorse for what he had done. Judge Timothy Sharp said Hasnali “demonstrated a calculated pattern of deception, which only stopped when the police intervened.”
Hasnali will have to spend at least four years and nine months in prison before his release is possible. However, he has become eligible for parole insurance.