Two men sentenced in nationwide food fraud case

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

 Yusuf (left) and Alam were sentenced to a total of more than nine years
Yusuf (left) and Alam were sentenced to a total of more than nine years

Related tags Food standards agency

Two men have been sentenced for their part in nationwide fraud committed against the food suppliers.

Yakub Moosa Yusuf, aged 61, of Warley Drive, Bradford and Zulfiqar Alam, aged 47, of Humber Way, Slough, pleaded guilty to committing fraud by false representation between November 2013 and November 2014. The case took place in in Leeds Crown Court on April 14, 2016.

The couple cloned the details of legitimate food companies and used the details to place orders for food from legitimate businesses. Once the produce had been supplied, either no payment was received or money that was paid was from a closed account and stopped by the bank.

Victims targeted during the scam were based across the country including West Yorkshire, Cornwall, Bedfordshire, Lancashire, Gloucestershire, Chester, the West Midlands, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and London.

Sheep farmer lost £90,000

One victim, a sheep farmer in Wales, was defrauded out of £90,000.

He supplied sheep worth £4,300 and received payment for that. He then supplied three further consignments of sheep – each worth £30,000, for which he was never paid.

Another food firm, an abattoir in Scotland that supplies lamb to the meat industry, was owed £100,000, because of the fraudulent activities of Yusuf and Alam.

The abattoir supplied various consignments of sheep to a bogus company. The consignments were paid by cheques which were returned as unpaid.

An investigation was launched in August 2014 by the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Fraud Team, after the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau highlighted the issue.

Detective Inspector Steve Hudson of the North East Regional Asset Recovery Team, said: “Working with key partners in the FSA and Bradford Council we have managed to disrupt a significant fraud in the meat supply industry that targeted a large number of legitimate firms.

“These people posed as honest businessmen – however they were anything but. They defrauded businesses out of large sums of money – businesses that were just trying to earn an honest income. Yusuf and Alam now have time inside to consider the consequences of their actions.

The detective inspector added that criminal behaviour will not be tolerated.

Admitted conspiracy to commit fraud

Yusuf admitted conspiracy to commit fraud, breaching a food prohibition order and three breaches of hygiene regulations. He was jailed for five years 10 months.

Alam admitted the conspiracy and was jailed for three years 10 months.

A spokesman for Bradford Council, said: “This sentencing is the culmination of a long and complex investigation which involved searching domestic properties to seize documents, computers and mobile phones for examination and analysis.

“Bradford Council environmental health officers used this information to link Bradford resident Yacub Moosa Yusuf to various food business activities around the country despite being the subject of a prohibition order.

Bradford Council was determined to try and stamp out food crime and illegal food businesses flouting the law by operating without the required standards of inspection, registration and food hygiene, he added.

“Criminals will not be allowed to put the health of the public at risk and we are glad that the police, the Food Standards Agency, and the courts are assisting us in this work.”

Meanwhile, food and drink crime will be the subject of one of three of Food Manufacture's Big Video Debates​ at Foodex.

Related news

Show more

Related suppliers

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast