Denise Breen-Lawton leading George Hazel-Owram represented National Trading Standards at the sentence hearing of the Sartip-Zadeh family members. The family were convicted on charges of fraudulent trading and laundering the proceeds. Over a number of years they were responsible for scamming over £2 million from people tricked into paying for European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) using copycat websites and offering a ‘check and send’ service. The NHS were providing the cards at no charge but the prosecution successfully argued that the colour and background of the site was similar to the NHS and Government websites and the use of .org in their web address, could mislead consumers into thinking they were using official channels. The two brothers Damien and Dale Sartip-Zadeh were sentenced to nine and a half years and eights years imprisonment respectively. The parents Diane and Mahmud Sartip-Zadeh were given two years suspended.
Denise and George have spent a number of years working for National Trading Standards. They have a successful track-record in prosecuting those involved in the creation of sophisticated copycat websites and elaborate scams.
Media reports can be found on the following links: