Harrogate couple who led "champagne lifestyle" on Â£300k jailed for fraud
A Harrogate couple who led a "champagne lifestyle" after defrauding businesses across the UK out of Â£300k have been jailed.
Memory Chirwa, 33, and her partner Raymond Makudza, 38, defrauded businesses and charities with a series of mandate fraud.
The couple were caught following a two-and-a-half year investigation by North Yorkshire Police's Serious Crime Team.
They were found guilty of fraud and money laundering at Leeds Crown Court and were both immediately sentenced to four years in prison.
Detective Inspector Steve Menzies of North Yorkshire Police's Serious Crime Team said many businsses and charities suffered as a result of their criminal activity.
He said: “I am pleased with today’s result in court. This was an extremely complex and lengthy investigation into serious fraud and money laundering which saw business and charities suffer significant financial loss at the hand of these fraudsters.
“Memory Chirwa and her partner Raymond Makudza led a ‘champagne lifestyle’ around Harrogate without the legitimate means to do so.
“I am satisfied they have been brought to justice and I praise my colleagues in the Serious Crime Team and our Financial Investigation Department.
"Their professionalism, dedication and sheer tenacity in investigating these crimes have resulted in Chirwa and Makudza being where they belong, behind bars, and has also prevented substantial financial loss for other businesses across the country."