Premier League footballer took weeks to spot £175,000 bank card fraud

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Fraudster blew ?175k on footballer's bank card and it took 5 weeks for Riyad Mahrez to notice money was missing

It took Riyad Mahrez, 29, a month to block the card after a fraudster spent thousands (Picture: Instagram / Getty Images)

A fraudster went on a £175,000 spending spree with a Premier League footballer’s bank card and treated himself to a £20,000 Ibiza holiday and trips to Nando’s, KFC and Greggs.

It took Manchester City player Riyad Mahrez, who is 29, five weeks to notice the money had been taken and block the card.

Truck driver Sharif Mohamed, 32, admitted one charge of fraud from 2017, when Mahrez was playing for Leicester City.

Mohamed spent a total of £175,830 on Mahrez’s bank card, including champagne at beach bars and on designer clothes in during his £20,000 Ibiza blow out.

As well as going to the Aspers Casino in Westfield, he stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard, visited the Edward John Lucas restaurant, spent £1,400 on one pair of Armani jeans and had several takeaways.

Former Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville told The Sun: ‘The most amazing thing is that someone can blow £175,000 on a bank card without the loser even realising.

‘Why on earth would an elite footballer be spending at fast food joints and Britain’s favourite steak bake supplier?

‘Banks are normally very quick off the mark to spot unusual spending but if the sums were low then it probably wouldn’t flag up.’

Mahrez ws said last week to have split from his wife before hooking up with fashion student Taylor Ward, 22

Mahrez was said last week to have split from his wife before hooking up with fashion student Taylor Ward, 22, pictured (Picture: Instagram)

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Riyad Mahrez and wife Rita pose on the red carpet during the BT Sport Industry Awards 2017 at Battersea Evolution on April 27, 2017 in London, England. The BT Sport Industry Awards is the most prestigious commercial sports awards ceremony in Europe, where over 1,750 of the industry's key decision-makers mix with high profile sporting celebrities for the industry's most anticipated night of the sport business calendar. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for Sport Industry Awards)

It is thought Mahrez recently split up with wife Rita, pictured (Picture: Getty Images)

The fraud reportedly took place when a person pretending to be Mahrez called Barclays to order a new card in the footballer’s name.

Mohamed, from East Ham, claimed he was working on behalf of bank employees who then allowed him to use the card – but produced no evidence to support this.

He then reportedly travelled from East London to Leicester to withdraw cash and avoid suspicion.

Prosecutor Alex Matthews told Snaresbrook Crown Court that Mohamed admitted the trip to Ibiza, but denied claims he had used the card for further holidays to Ibiza and Murcia.

Sharif Mohamed, 32, enjoyed a £20,000 spending spree in Ibiza on the Premier League footballer’s bank card (Picture: Getty Images)

To celebrate its reopening, the Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard is launching a series of special offers, including the ?Ultimate Staycation in the Sky?. You?ll get a room with a fantastic view as standard, a private Harvey Nichols shopping experience (with champagne), a deluxe bathing experience using Neal?s Yard remedies, and a 20% discount at T?NG restaurant, G?NG bar, and BAR 31 and breakfast for two, of course. From ?435,

The fraudster also stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard, London (Picture: Shangri-La Hotel)

The defendant’s barrister Daniel Higgins, asking for a suspended sentence, said: ‘In terms of personal benefit he can’t exactly qualify. At least he had a very nice holiday and other benefits.’

Mr Higgins added Mohamed was ‘drinking and taking drugs’ during this period of his life, so ‘his ability to recall in detail is rather limited’.

But he now says he is married and ‘living a modest life’.

Judge Laurie West-Knights QC said: ‘I need to resolve whether he has come clean. If he is deceiving me at this stage, there is only one place he can go.’

Mohamed was bailed ahead of sentencing on February 25.   

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