Fraudster, 32, who used Man City star Riyad Mahrez’s bank card on trip to Ibiza jailed for three years and eight months

A FRAUDSTER who splurged more than £175,000 on a bank card belonging to Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez has been jailed for eight years and three months.

Sharif Mohamed, 32, spent more than a month living the high life partying in Ibiza, gambling and staying in luxury hotels in London.

Mahrez, 30, who earns around £200,000 a week, failed to notice the spending spree for five weeks before reporting the transactions.

Forklift truck driver Mohamed admitted one count of fraud at Snaresbrook Crown Court last month.

Today he was sentenced to 44 months behind bars at the same court.

The fraud, totalling £175,830, took place in 2017 while Mahrez was playing for Leicester City.

A caller posing as the Algerian international phoned Barclays bank to order a new card in his name. 

Mohamed later claimed to police that he had been working on behalf of crooked bank staff but offered no evidence to back up his allegation.

He travelled from his home in East London to Leicester to withdraw cash from ATMs to avoid raising suspicion.

Mohamed went on to burn through £20,000 on partying and designer clothes during a holiday in Ibiza.

He guzzled champagne at trendy beach bars and blew thousands buying designer clothes from boutiques on the party island.

In the UK, his spree also included a splurge in a casino — as well as more modest outings to Nando’s, KFC and Greggs.

Prosecutor Alex Matthews said he admitted going on a trip to Ibiza where, apart from blowing thousands on champagne in bars, he visited designer boutiques.

In one, he paid £1,400 for a pair of Armani jeans. Ms Matthews added: “He spent £900 in one and £600 in the other — and that’s just one night in Ibiza.”

His spending on the trip included the flights, accommodation in the smart Shangri—La hotel and meals at the upmarket Edward John Lucas restaurant.

Defending, Daniel Higgins, said Mohamed had been drinking heavily and using drugs at the time of the fraud.

He said: "One of the difficulties is that this was during a period of his life when he was drinking and taking drugs and his ability to recall in detail is rather limited."

Met Det Chief Insp Mick Neville said: “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."

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