News

Bedfordshire law graduate who ‘joked’ about working at a top City law firm avoids prison over Justin Bieber concert scam

By on

Trainee flogged fake tickets to Beyoncé and Adele fans too

Background image of Birmingham Crown Court via Google Maps

A law graduate in her 20s whose legal career is now “almost certainly dead and buried” has avoided prison by “a whisker” after scamming concert-goers out of thousands of pounds.

Zainab Pervaiz, who graduated from the University of Bedfordshire in 2013, pleaded guilty to 16 counts of fraud by false representation back in October, admitting she flogged non-existent tickets to Justin Bieber, Beyoncé and Adele fans. Legal Cheek understands that Pervaiz was, until recently, working at a local firm called Fountain Solicitors, with the hopes of becoming an immigration specialist.

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

As for the particulars of her fraud, the aspiring lawyer had duped unwitting music fans out of close to £10,000 using the PayPal account of her girlfriend’s grandfather. According to Birmingham Mail, the prosecuting lawyer said Pervaiz “presented herself to [her girlfriend] as a solicitor; said she had rich friends, and that her father co-founded Ticketmaster”.

The report continues:

“She also claimed to have worked for commercial law firm Wragge & Co, however later told police this had been ‘a joke’.”

Wragge & Co, now called Gowling WLG following a recent merger, is a top firm in the City. A LinkedIn profile of a ‘Zainab Pervaiz’, who purportedly works as a solicitor at Wragge & Co, is still live, though we must stress we cannot confirm this LinkedIn profile is the work of the Bieber fraudster. A search for “Zainab Pervaiz” on the Law Society’s ‘Find a solicitor’ function draws a blank.

Handing Pervaiz a two-year sentence suspended for two years, a 150-hour community sentence and ordering her to pay compensation to all 16 victims, Judge Simon Drew QC said:

“You’ve lost your good character, a career in law is almost certainly dead and buried, but it seems to me in the circumstances of the case, the interests of justice, the community at large, and the victims are best served by me suspending your sentence.”

Pervaiz’s barrister, addressing Birmingham Crown Court yesterday, said her client was deeply regretful and remorseful, and wanted to express her “heartfelt apologies” to those affected.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

Related Stories