Uber Driver Escapes Jail After Gambling Away £153,000 from Victim’s Bank Account

Uber Driver Escapes Jail After Gambling Away £153,000 from Victim’s Bank Account

Fezan Burki, a 35-year-old Uber driver, has avoided imprisonment despite gambling away £153,000 from another man’s bank account.

Burki utilized a cloned Coutts bank card, initially belonging to Benjamin Fox, to register with six different betting companies.

The Old Bailey heard details of the fraudulent activities involving the bank card of Mr. Fox’s wife, Kerry.

Criminal Activities and Discovery:

Burki’s criminal actions came to light when police, seizing his phones on March 17, 2023, discovered images of 15 different individuals’ bank cards, driving licenses, and passports.

He admitted guilt to fraud by false representation and possessing articles for fraud in a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on November 17, 2023.

Notably, Burki’s defense claimed that mental health issues, stemming from a previous knife attack by his brother-in-law in November 2018, played a pivotal role in the criminal behavior.

Mitigation Factors:

Lawrence Harris, the defense counsel, argued that Burki was ‘out of his mind’ during the crimes, experiencing complex PTSD due to the traumatic knife attack that left him needing 52 staples and resulted in a 12-inch scar.

The defense emphasized that the breakdown of Burki’s marriage was a direct consequence of the attack.

The court also considered Burki’s claim that part of the fraud was an attempt to provide for his children.

Legal Outcome:

Despite the severity of the offenses, Burki received a suspended two-year sentence, with Judge Rebecca Trowler KC citing strong mitigation due to mental health concerns.

The judge acknowledged the sophistication of the fraud but believed that rehabilitation prospects and a low risk of reoffending justified the suspended sentence.

The verdict left Burki’s family visibly relieved, expressing their happiness in the courtroom.

Financial Repercussions and Future Proceedings:

While Coutts, the bank involved, managed to refund £134,000 following an internal investigation, it suffered a loss of £47,000.

Ongoing financial investigations by the police indicate possible confiscation proceedings as the bank has been unable to recover the full amount.

Prosecutor Sonya Foxsmith confirmed these proceedings, highlighting the unresolved financial aspects of the case.

Conclusion:

Fezan Burki’s case illustrates the complex interplay of criminal activities, mental health issues, and legal considerations.

The suspended sentence, coupled with rehabilitation requirements, reflects a nuanced judicial response to a situation with multifaceted implications.