With harsh words for a Mississauga woman who defrauded eight “vulnerable” victims of close to $100,000, a judge has sentenced her to 18 months in jail.
Luring victims through a “charitable” endeavor she set up in 2012, Nuzhat Mamoon, 48, “took advantage of the high regard she was held in the community,” concluded Justice David Edwards in delivering his sentencing decision Tuesday (Sept. 20).
Mamoon will be on probation for three years after her release, during which she is banned from running, working or volunteering for any charities or charitable organizations, and she has been ordered to repay her eight victims at a rate of $500 per month, for a total of $98,400 she took from them.
She was credited with close to seven months time served, leaving her with 11 months on her sentence for her conviction of defrauding the public. She was convicted May 11.
Mamoon has showed no remorse or understanding of the impact her crime has had on her victims, two of whom are elderly, Edwards told the court.
The victims were all “vulnerable” and unsophisticated in business, but put their trust in the mother-of-four because she portrayed herself as a wealthy businesswoman and a deeply religious member of the Pakistani/Muslim community, court heard.
All eight victims had to dip into limited savings or go into debt to give Mamoon money for investments that never materialized, court heard earlier.
Defence lawyer Arman Hoque had asked for a 23-month sentence, and asked Edwards to allow Mamoon to serve her sentence under house arrest. The judge rejected that option.
Assistant Crown Christina Sibian asked for a two-year jail sentence, telling Edwards that Mamoon “must be made to realize that her conduct will not be tolerated.”
Sibian noted that, with no addictions and no financial difficulties, the only explanation for Mamoon’s dishonesty is greed.
Mamoon, who came to Canada as a refugee in 2008, will likely be deported after she has served whatever sentence she is given, court heard.
During a sentencing hearing, Hoque characterized Mamoon’s behaviour as well-intentioned “lofty” ideas that just didn’t materialize the way she had hoped.
Edwards ruled Mamoon portrayed herself as a wealthy, religious businesswoman between March 2012 and the end of December 2013. She earned the trust of her victims who she met primarily through the Umme Rubab Community Organization, an organization she set up to “lure” her victims, Edwards concluded. It was never registered as a charity, but she promoted it as an organization to help single mothers in need.
“She then promised them unrealistic profits on investments that she stated were guaranteed, with respect to non-existent business operations,” Edwards concluded.
The money was given to Mamoon to invest in a non-existent catering business, a non-existent fashion show, and in one case, to purchase a home, court heard.
Mamoon was charged by Peel Regional Police Fraud Bureau detectives in January 2014. She was charged with fraud again in December 2015 in relation to other alleged victims. The latter charges are still before the courts.