A MAN convicted of money laundering for a benefit cheat caught after police found holiday photos of him hula dancing claimed: ‘I thought he was disabled.’
Jason Gubb was caught on camera on holidays to Iran, America, Malta and Cyprus at the taxpayers’ expense with Abdul Esfandmozd – who pocketed almost £100,000 in a decade after claiming to be wheelchair-bound.
Gubb, 42, who went on the breaks with Esfandmozd and mum Jacqeline Taylor – who was in a relationship with the fraudster – was even clocked wrestling in a Malta swimming pool with his ‘disabled’ friend.
Gubb said: ‘I thought he was disabled. I do regret what I’ve done. I will never, ever do this again.’
The trio were snared after council officers noticed Esfandmozd had not submitted receipts for care work he was meant to be buying with benefits.
Pictures found in a raid at Esfandmozd’s home showed him diving into a pool and dancing. One photograph pictured Esfandmozd and Gubb in a hot air balloon in Bristol.
He claimed £98,730 in payments that were meant to go on carers between 2000 and 2010. Gubb and Taylor were named as his carers, as well as former England goalkeeper P. Shilton, athlete D. Thompson and even a Mr D. Duck.
Meanwhile Gubb, of Lower Sydney Street, Bristol, laundered £51,000 through his bank account, which Esfandmozd used to buy his council flat in Somers Road, Somers Town, Portsmouth.
Taylor, who lives with Gubb, was found with £70,000 of Esfandmozd’s money and used £22,000 to buy their Bristol council flat in return for a charge over their property.
Gubb admitted being concerned in the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property between June 2006 and March 2007.
Mum Jacqeline, 65, admitted one charge of money laundering and one of possessing criminal property between March 2002 and May 2005.
Gubb was sentenced to four months in jail suspended for a year, put under supervision for a year and told to do 180 hours of unpaid work. Taylor was jailed for four months.
Esfandmozd, 51, is already serving a four-year jail term after being found guilty of two counts of fraud, two of obtaining money by deception and three of entering into a money laundering agreement after a trial in August.
Judge Sarah Munro QC described him as ‘one of the most dishonest and manipulative individuals ever to have come before Portsmouth Crown Court.’
Gubb said: ‘I think it’s rough justice that it’s happened that my mum has got sent down. There are a lot more serious crimes out there that people are getting away with – you see it all the time.
‘I think he’s an idiot for doing it.’
Judge Munro, sentencing, accepted a basis of plea from the pair that Esfandmozd was the principle offender and manipulated Taylor and Gubb.
Both Gubb and Taylor are subject to proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The pair could be ordered to pay back cash they made from their criminal ways later this year.