Dixit Shah, a former lawyer from Harrow, has been jailed for a string of frauds which netted him over £20 million.

Most lawyers who stray from the path of honesty have fairly prosaic motivations such as paying off overdrafts or funding Romanian holidays. But Shah - who was struck off in 2002 for employing a suspended solicitor - had dreams of making it big as a Bollywood director. And he chose to bankroll his ambitions through a decade of crime.

Shah's list of scams was long and inventive, according to a report in the Harrow Times. They included:
  • Running a major credit card fraud spanning India, Pakistan and Dubai.
  • Scamming foreign students who paid him to arrange jobs in the UK - only to arrive and find nothing had been arranged.
  • Using those same students' identities to make fraudulent mortgage applications.
  • Conning mortgage lenders to the tune of £2.8m.
  • Working with criminal gangs in the UK and India to set up a string of fake companies
However the would-be mogul was finally arrested outside a Harrow gym, following his return to the UK in 2009.

  Shah starting his prison sentence yesterday - how it might have looked

Shah has now swapped his Bollywood ambitions for five and a half years of hard time in a South London jail. Commenting on the case, Detective Superintendent Bob Wishart of City of London Police said "Unfortunately for [Shah] his criminal successes were not mirrored by his forays into the world of Bollywood, where his delusion led him to lose millions."

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