Sami Raja, 32, is seeking to have his jail term overturned while in a Dubai bolthole – a move that a judge joked was ‘in vogue’.
Sami Raja cold-call scammer from Grays, Essex, who duped elderly victims into handing over their life savings by posing as a broker, fled to Dubai before his trial. In January he was sentenced to eight years in jail for his part in the £2.4million fraud, which he had used to buy an Aston Martin and a £4,000 Rolex.
It comes after Shepherd, 31, spent ten months hiding in Georgia while legal aid funded an appeal against his manslaughter conviction.
Shepherd was convicted in his absence after he fled to Georgia instead of attending his trial for the manslaughter of Charlotte Brown, 24, who died in December 2015 when Shepherd’s defective speedboat capsized on the Thames, throwing the pair into the freezing water.
Back in London, he was given an extra six months on his sentence for running away by a judge.
Raja was found guilty in his absence of six counts of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering.
Victims received unsolicited calls from ‘brokers’ who used high-pressure sales techniques to persuade them to invest in the scam products. As a fugitive in Dubai, he is believed to still be running Sami Raja Consultancy, which claims to help investors ‘set up and expand their businesses in the UAE and the UK’.
Senior investigating officer Hayley Wade, of the City of London Police’s fraud squad, said: ‘Raja cruelly targeted often elderly individuals with the intention of defrauding them of their life savings. He clearly felt no remorse.’
Raja was one of five men convicted over the scam, which saw 130 victims conned between 2012 and 2013.