Two Newcastle fraudsters ordered to pay back eye-watering sum

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A conviction wasn’t deemed to be enough for the fraudsters

Two fraudulent criminals who worked right under the public’s noses in the Newcastle City Centre had been ordered to pay back more than £200,000.

Ayaz Siddique, 49, and Deepankar Dixit, 39, stole thousands of pounds during their role as solicitors when working in the city.

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The pair used a range of deceptive and co-ordinated tactics to fraudulently steal thousands of pounds by funnelling money into a cash account they kept outside the business where Siddique was a Director.

The investigation led to the arrest and subsequent conviction of both Siddique, of Milvain Avenue, Fenham, Newcastle, and Dixit, of Springhill Gardens, Newcastle, in December 2019.

Despite the conviction, officers believed more punishment should be brought the criminals’ way.

While they were serving jail time for false accounting, officers were pulling together a case under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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This looked at their financial activity prior to the offending, assessed the value of their assets and calculated what value each of them had illegally obtained through their criminal activity.

Appearing at Leeds Crown Court last Wednesday and Thursday, as part of Confiscation Orders granted by a judge, the duo were ordered to put their hands in their pockets and pay back a total of £205,000.

Ayaz Siddique and Deepankar DixitAyaz Siddique and Deepankar Dixit
Ayaz Siddique and Deepankar Dixit | /

Failing to adhere to the order could result in them facing a further jail term.

Detective Sergeant Thomas Maughan said: “Both Siddique and Dixit showed a blatant disregard for their professional obligations. Each of them acted outside the law and have now lost their status as solicitors.

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“This has been months of hard work by an incredibly persistent and committed team of fraud and financial investigators and I want to thank them all for their contributions that have led to this successful outcome at court.

“This investigation shows that jail time isn’t the only form of justice that convicted offenders face. We will also seek to strip them of any assets and financial gain that their criminality has provided them – crime really doesn’t pay.”

Det Sgt Maughan added: “This work is part of our continued efforts under the banner of Operation Sentinel to tackle and disrupt serious and organised crime.

“We are committed to bringing effective justice against any individual who believes themselves to be above the law and who carry out any form of unlawful activity in our communities.”

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