An Australian man with a gambling problem will spend almost seven years in prison after a jury found him guilty of defrauding an acquaintance from AU$2.7 million or roughly $1.9 million. The culprit, one Munir Muzafar Fakrud Hassanali, fleeced his 66-year-old victim out of money over the course of two years. Hassanali convinced the person that he would use the money to fund non-existing business ventures.
Victim Puts His Trust in Acquaintance
He used his strong community ties as a way to secure the money from the victim. Both people belonged to the Islamic religious community in Perth, Western Australia. Hassanali, who is 82 years old, will have to spend a considerable part of the remainder of his life behind bars because of this.
Hassanali’s first successful attempt to secure money from his victim happened when he convinced him to lend him AU$30,000 or some $21,350. The friend agreed to give Hassanali the money. This then escalated into a series of similar loans that were on the numbers of anything between AU$1,000 ($700) to AU$200,000 ($142,300).
Over time, the victim grew suspicious of his acquaintance’s intentions and confronted him. Finally, an investigation began at the request of the victim and police arrested Hassanali back in 2019. Hassanali argued that he had needed the money to fund his business ventures, but none of this was actually true.
The documents shown to the victim were forged, it seems, which brought the man to owe up to his sins. Hassanali admitted that he had spent the money on gambling and had no way of paying back the amount he owed. It later transpired that he had also borrowed money from other people as well.
Gambling Addiction and Hassanali’s Downward Spiral
Hassanali was upfront about his struggles with addiction in court. He told jurors and the prosecutors that he had indeed been dealing with severe gambling addiction and the money he managed to extract from victims was then channeled back to feed the insatiable gambling monster.
However, as is usually the case with these investigations, the judge found out that Hassanali demonstrated “deceit” and “intention” which pointed out his criminal acts. He also added that the culprit stopped his activity only after the police intervened, and demonstrated no contriteness before that. Hassanali will have the option of parole after four years and nine months.