Solicitor jailed for 10 years for sham marriage scheme
22 February 2013
Hatfield-based lawyer Tevfick Souleiman was this week sentenced to 10 years for his part in a sham marriage scam, which involved nearly 2,000 marriages and netted £20m.
Souleiman makes a worthy addition to RollOnFriday's pantheon of dodgy solicitors
. His firm, Souleiman GA, arranged marriage packages for a fee of up to £14,000. But rather than a romantic church, flowers and glass of prosecco deal, the package paired up Eastern European brides with non-EU grooms, many of whom were part of the Albanian mafia. The firm provided fake tenancy agreements and forged documents to give the impression of a couple in love, according to a BBC report
. Following the wedding, the blushing brides (who often didn't even share a common language with their new husbands) would be swiftly repatriated and told never to contact their husbands again. Now that's
||Souleiman looking forward to his ten year honeymoon yesterday |
Souleiman managed to keep the scam going for eight years, making £20m before they finally caught the attention of the authorities. Police worked out what was going on after they busted an Albanian gang planning to bring £900m of cocaine into Britain and discovered their marriages had been arranged through Souleiman's firm.
The gang was jailed for a total of 35 years, with Souleiman himself sentenced to 10 years. Judge John Bevan QC told the disgraced lawyer "A heavy responsibility for upholding the rule of law rests with lawyers. If the public cannot trust the integrity of lawyers, who can they trust?
". Err, that would be estate agents, secondhand car salesmen and politicians, obviously.