A 53-year-old woman, Narinder Kaur, has been found guilty of tricking high street stores into giving her refunds for goods she had stolen, netting half a million pounds.
She was found guilty of 25 separate offences after a four-month trial at Gloucester Crown Court and warned to expect a “substantial” jail sentence.
It is believed that Kaur stole from over 1,000 shops across the country. She has been remanded in custody and the sentencing date has yet to be fixed.
Kaur was found guilty by the jury, following what is believed to be the longest-ever trial at the court.
She was found guilty of 14 counts of fraud, two counts of money laundering, four counts of possessing the proceeds of crime, one count of conspiracy to defraud, and four counts of perverting the course of justice.
The court was informed that Kaur, who originally hailed from Worcester, had changed her name legally from Nina Tiara.
During the trial, which began on 8 November, prosecutor Gareth Weetman described her as “an intelligent but highly dishonest and manipulative individual” who had deceived shops, banks, solicitors, and even the courts.
According to Weetman, despite being arrested and charged with wholesale offending, Kaur continued her life of crime by lying to courts to amend her bail conditions so she could steal again.
She had found a way to get retailers to pay her the full value of items she had stolen by claiming she had bought the items but lost the receipt, and then requesting to exchange them.
Kaur’s crime spree ended when police discovered her history of fraudulent refund payments by examining her bank and credit cards.
Kaur was arrested at Dunelm in Swindon while attempting to get a refund, which led to the discovery of 49 shopping bags filled with goods and £108,000 in cash at her home.
She was later caught attempting the same trick at Asda, leading to the discovery of £38,000 in total at her house.
Nevertheless, Kaur’s defense, Anthony Montgomery, said that she had already spent a significant period in custody and had not reoffended while on bail.