|Camera Shy: Nikita Slesarev (L)|
Digital Marketing consultant Nikita Michael Slesarev, 24, of Bushey Grove Road, Bushey, Hertfordshire, employed bartending tutor Grant Basian, 24, of Murray Road, Northwood, who allowed the stolen money to be funneled into his Betfair account.
Isleworth Crown Court Judge Richard McGregor-Johnson, the Recorder of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, told Slesarev: “You need to understand just how mean these series of offences were, given this was your mother's account.
“This was the product of a gambling habit that got completely out of control and you were able to get bank details and remover from your mother's account very substantial amounts of money.”
|Cheers: Grant Basian|
The judge told Basian, who is employed by his family's business, Bas Bartending School: “You were not in on the fraud from the outset, but the avalanche of money alerted you to the fact this was not legitimate.”
Slesarev pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation, namely purporting to be his mother, Angelina Khromova, on November 2, last year in Hillingdon to withdraw £51,450 from her bank account.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to acquiring, using or possessing criminal property, namely a large quantity of money between November 2 and December 17, last year.
Slesarev, who comes from a “very wealthy” former Soviet Union family, told the court he has gambled heavily since he was eighteen years-old.
“There is a demon, something that comes into your body and takes over and makes you do things you would never do,” he explained. “It's hampered my relationship with my mother, who I love very much and I am deeply, deeply remorseful for what happened.
“I thought I would win some of the money back and replace it,” added Slesarev, who used Basian's online Betfair account to place wagers before eventually alerting the police himself.
“I called the police and told my mother I had broken the law and needed to be punished. I had to do it or I would still be gambling when I'm forty years-old.”
Slesarev told the court he attends Gamblers Anonymous meetings and is performing well at work.
“I'm sure this will never happen again, I've never committed fraud before. I'm deeply sorry for what I did and will work very hard to rebuild my relationship with my mother.
“If I go to prison I'll lose my job. I'm living with my girlfriend and her parents don't know about this, but if I go to prison her parents will say: 'We don't want a criminal in the house.'”
The court heard Slesarev had debts with Wonga and another lender as well as a £3,000 credit card bill.
Basian's lawyer Mr. Graham King told the court the defendant's had been friends for a decade and Slesarev was someone who often had either large amounts of money or nothing.
“He asked to use Mr. Basian's Betfair account to place bets and the fifty thousand was taken from his mother via eighteen smaller transactions into his Nationwide account and then made deposits into Mr. Basian's account.
“He was suspicious, but did not know until a confession that it came out of his friend's mother's bank account. He was egged into this by another, taking advantage of the trust of their friendship”
Slesarev received twenty months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and was ordered to perform 200 hours community service.
Basian received six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and was ordered to perform 150 hours community service.