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Indian-origin fraudster gets over 2-yr jail in UK

A 29-year-old Indian-origin fraudster who was given 98,000 pounds as a grant to start a new forest project in the South Yorkshire region of England but failed to plant a single tree has been jailed for 27 months.

Pritesh Ladwa, who describes himself as a CEO-director of several companies on Facebook, was given the grant to beautify a former Orgreave colliery site at Waverley in South Yorkshire but failed to deliver. Ladwa had denied fraud but was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court this week. “There was no forest where a forest should have been,” prosecutor Daniel Oscroft told the court.

Pictures on social media showed Ladwa enjoying champagne and smiling on a yacht in Hawaii, swimming with a dolphin and posing in front of a waterfall in Iceland, the Birmingham Mail reported. It is believed he blew up the money on his high-flying lifestyle.

Jurors were told that Ladwa won the grant from the English Woodland Grant Scheme, run by the UK’s Forestry Commission to create new woods for the public to enjoy.

He told the commission that all the work had been done in March 2014 but later claimed the site had been targeted by vandals. 
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