'Professional liar' jailed for 13 years for £1.1 million Ebay scam and £53,000 fraud

Hassan Butt who has been jailed over a 1.1 million eBay fraud. Photo credit: Greater Manchester Police/PA Wire
Hassan Butt who has been jailed over a 1.1 million eBay fraud. Photo credit: Greater Manchester Police/PA Wire

A "professional liar" who claimed to have recruited more than 200 jihadists to attend terror training camps abroad has been jailed over a £1.1 million eBay fraud.

Hassan Butt, 38, of Manchester, sold non-existent electrical goods via the online marketplace in the run-up to Christmas 2014 and no items were delivered to some 3,000 customers.

The bulk of the funds received by his company, MiGenie, was then transferred to a bank account held in Dubai.

Complaints flooded in from customers and an investigation was launched by eBay officials, who alerted police when they discovered Butt's previous self-confessed links to Islamic terrorism and feared the money would be used for that purpose, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Butt had previously given numerous media interviews about how he had sent recruits to training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan and of his close links with terror group al Qaida, the court was told.

He later renounced his espousal of terror attacks on the Western public and the teachings of former UK-based extremist Omar Bakri Muhammad who, he said, had groomed him.

When called as witness at a terrorism trial in 2008 in Manchester however he conceded he was a "professional liar" who would say "absolutely anything" to make money - even if it damaged community relations and caused trouble for fellow Muslims.

On Friday, Butt, of Sheepfoot Lane, Prestwich, was jailed for a total of 13 years after he was convicted of multiple counts of fraud and money laundering.

In addition to the eBay scam, Butt was also convicted of fraudulently obtaining £47,000 of loans and credit and a £6,000 online fraud where he ordered iPads and gold bars and claimed refunds when lying that he had not received them.

He received nine years for those offences and an additional four years for perverting the course of justice when he dodged speeding tickets on 17 occasions over a four-year period by giving false details on notice of intended prosecution forms.

Sentencing Butt, Judge Anthony Cross QC told him: "I find it almost impossible to decide when you speak whether or not the truth is falling from your lips.

"You are indeed a man who has woven a complex tapestry of deceit throughout your adult life.

"These offences of dishonesty and perjury demonstrate your true religion - it is a religion that worships Mammon and deception.

"The plan was to obtain cash, and cash in excess of £1.1 million was obtained and it disappeared like the proverbial will-o'-the-wisp to Dubai.

"I am satisfied from all that I have seen and heard that you are a man who shows not one single jot of remorse. At times you seem to wallow in your dishonesty."

Butt smirked in the dock throughout the sentencing hearing and shouted "Liars, liars" to investigating officers as he was led to the cells.

The court heard that detectives were unable to obtain evidence of the IP address or addresses used to make the transfers to Dubai and it had not been possible to trace or recover the £1.1 million.

A proceeds of crime hearing is scheduled for next April.