Radio Sandwell News

'Spiritual healer' Mohammed Ashrafi guilty of fraud

2015-02-19 18:02:47

Mohammed AshrafiMr Ashrafi told the court he returned to the UK because he wanted to help people

A self-proclaimed spiritual healer has been found guilty of conning victims out of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Mohammed Ashrafi, 50, scammed 18 people in Leicester after targeting people with personal problems, illnesses or financial difficulties from a home in Babingley Drive in the city.

A jury at Leicester Crown Court convicted him of 15 counts of fraud and one of blackmail after a three-week trial.

Ashrafi will be sentenced later.

'Lies and deception'

Earlier in the trial a man, who cannot be named, told Leicester Crown Court how he handed over £150,000 to Ashrafi, who he thought was a faith healer.

The witness told the jury he believed he was being cured of an illness and would win millions in a lottery.

He described how "ashamed" he was and how he became "sucked in" by the 50-year-old.

Steve Chappell, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: "We should not underestimate the distress this type of offending causes for its victims.

"Mohammed Ashrafi ran a sophisticated operation to gain the confidence of his victims and showed no sign of stopping until he was arrested.

"His cynical campaign of dishonesty has been brought to an end because his victims have stood up in court to expose his lies and deception.

"The CPS would like to recognise the courage and fortitude of those victims who came forward and gave evidence."

Ashrafi had denied all the charges against him and said he was inspired to be a spiritual healer after a miracle in India.

He told the court he had been shot and was unable to walk for four years until he was cured by a faith healer.

The jury was told he just wanted to "help the poor and sick".

Source: bbc.co.uk

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