image of a person in jail

Businessman forged mother’s will in bid to inherit £40m share of family’s oil plantation

A businessman has been jailed for five and a half years at Southward Crown Court for forging his mother’s will to get £40 million share of his family’s Malaysian palm oil plantation, according to reports.

In 2011, Girish Dahyabhai Patel “used the fake document to launch a High Court claim for control of Prabhavati Dahyabhai Patel’s estate after she left her entire fortune to his elder brother, Yashwant Patel, following her death in 2011”.

One third of the family’s “jewel in the crown” business, Aumkar Plantations, which owns 20,000 acres of Malaysian property with palm oil plantations, was included in the inheritance

Patel claimed a 2005 will, which replaced the original 1986 document and left everything to him, had been signed by his mother and seen in the UK after a failed court battle in the Seychelles.

Patel “lied under oath in a probate claim in the High Court and encouraged witnesses to give false evidence about the will, which was found to be worth £39.95 million (50 million US dollars)”.

Judge Marc Dight said:

“Not only has there been a very serious impact on your family.

You have lost your reputation, your status, your ability to carry on business and your wealth and income.”

Prosecutor Gideon Cammerman KC, said:

“This was a committed, determined, sophisticated and high-value fraud over a number of years against members of his own family.

It was committed by forging documents, telling lies, then pursuing those lies in most cases to the bitter end in court.”

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