Muhammed Sufi of York Lane, Mitcham, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation. He was sentenced to nine months suspended for two years and 100 hours unpaid work .
Sufi had manufactured fake tickets which allowed the holder complimentary first-class travel on LNER, before selling them on eBay. Sufi had opened the eBay account in the name of an LNER employee with addresses in London and Yorkshire.
An unsuspecting elderly couple had purchased the tickets from Sufi. They were stopped at London King’s Cross station when the serial number on the ticket was flagged as fraudulent. LNER’s fraud department was contacted and advised that four LNER scratch card tickets of dubious authenticity had been purchased from the website Sphock.
A PayPal account linked to Sufi showed that over a five-month period, transactions totalling £29,000 were linked to the sale of LNER first-class tickets. That would have led to a potential loss to LNER of £263,840, based on the maximum fare at the time.
Detective Sergeant Karen Grave said: “Sufi was exploiting a complimentary ticket scheme, hoodwinking honest members of the public into believing they had paid fairly and squarely for legitimate tickets.”
“Ticket fraud is not a victimless crime – the loss is passed down to honest fare-paying members of the travelling public.”
“We will not tolerate any kind of fraud on the transport network and we will make every effort to bring those that do commit the crime to justice.”