A trickster who tried to lure Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand and Chelsea’s John Terry into buying luxury holidays is being jailed for four and a half years
Faisal Madani, 48, used stolen credit cards to spend around £110,000 on holidays to the Middle East for high-profile sport stars.
The conman posed as a personal friend of Premier League footballers and their associates, the Southwark Crown Court jury heard.
"Madani used or tried to use credit and debit cards that belonged to other people to book holidays to Dubai for high- profile people," said prosecutor Helen Malcolm QC.
"The defendant is somebody who has plainly sought to establish himself as a figure of some note in the professional sports industry, and he claims to have contact with some footballers."
The lawyer said footballers, agents and many others had no idea the fraudster was lying as he targeted travel outlets in the North West in 2007.
After trying to book a £48,000 holiday for John Terry and his family, Madani turned to Manchester travel agent Trailfinders.
"He represented to them that he frequently booked holidays for high-profile sporting individuals and that he had done so for many years," Ms Malcolm said.
The court heard Madani attempting to use a number of credit and debit cards in a bid to buy another holiday – worth £37,500 – for Terry.
Ms Malcolm said: "The second was a card belonging to Eva Herzigova, and she had no idea the card was being used."
The fraudster tried to use the underwear model's card to pay around £18,000 towards the holiday, but the transaction was declined.
Somehow Madani found funds to pay for the luxury break and Terry travelled to Dubai.
He then tried to use stolen details to pay a £1,000 deposit on flights for the United defender Ferdinand, and £2,000 for a box at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium for Terry.
Ms Malcolm said he got the card details while on bail to Chester Crown Court.
Picture courtesy of Wiki Commons