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Editorial comment from Matthew Steeples Our editor tells it like it is and he rarely minces his words

Justice at the door

Dame Asha Khemka gets a copy of our article about her fraudster son personally delivered to her door


On 29th November 2012, I wrote to Mrs Shankar Khemka (as she then was). I informed her that her son, Sheel, had fraudulently registered me as a director of a number of companies without my permission and that as a result I had been questioned by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as a potential witness against him. Mrs (now Dame) Khemka did not bother to respond to my perfectly polite missive and subsequently blanked me when I encountered her near her Chelsea home a month or so later in spite of having met me on a number of occasions prior.


Justice at the door – This note was delivered to the Chelsea home of Dame Asha Khemka on Saturday 14th May along with a copy of an article titled 'Sheel Khemka – Fraudster'
Justice at the door – This note was delivered to the Chelsea home of Dame Asha Khemka on Saturday 14th May along with a copy of an article titled ‘Sheel Khemka – Fraudster’


On Wednesday last, Sheel Khemka was sentenced to five years in jail after a four week retrial at Croydon Crown Court. Many whose name he used in a complex VAT con, myself not ultimately included, were required to give evidence against this Old Harrovian and Oxford educated spiv and in his summing up, Judge Nicholas John Ainley remarked: “The scheme was dishonest from the start… You set up companies using the hijacked identities of friends. This was a sophisticated and well-planned fraud”.


Yesterday, I decided to send another note to Sheel Khemka’s mother. It simply read: “FAO Dame Asha Khemka: Justice has been done. Your son owes many people apologies. Matthew Steeples” and was attached to The Steeple Times’ feature ‘Sheel Khemka – Fraudster’ (published Thursday). The note and article were delivered directly to Dame Asha’s door and now she cannot claim to have avoided being sent correspondence by me for a second time.



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15 comments on “Justice at the door”

  1. Well done Matthew Steeples. Sheel Khemka conned not only the VAT but also took millions from investors. I know one who is especially furious about what he lost. The smug bastard won’t have to pay that back will he?

  2. That happened to me many years ago. Someone registered my address as a Director at Companies House.
    I emailed companies house and they said they couldn’t alter it. The Company collapsed owing money, and a huge gas bill which was sent to me.

    Companies House said they did ‘not’ check if people and addresses registered with them were correct !!

  3. Matthew, what Sheel did to you and the British taxpayers was truly awful. I suspect Dame Khemka ignored you through embarrassment at her son’s behaviour and simply didn’t know what to say. A mother is a mother and will publicly protect her child like a tigress protects her cubs. No doubt Sheel was read the Riot Act by his parents as they will justifiably be ashamed by his actions. However, they were not the perpetrators of this crime and I don’t believe they should be vilified by this ne’er-do-well’s action. They are more to be pitied than scorned.
    BTW… Thanks for the drink last week. Xx

  4. Why does not the mother cough up the money her fraudster son owes to people and HRMC? Usually Indian families are more supportive. This would alleviate the losses to investors at least and would be the honorable thing for the Khemka family to do.
    What did she get the Dame title for ? Charitable work ..?? Well done Matthew for pinning her down .

  5. JP: do you have any reason for thinking that his mother is just being quiet to protect her child, is too embarrassed to acknowledge Matthew’s note, and that she read her son the riot act? You may well be right, I have no knowledge of her. She might indeed be an honorable parent unlucky enough to have a bad lot for a son, but why are you saying that’s the case, other than the fact that she’s his mother? I’m asking a genuine question here… do you have knowledge of the family to authenticate your (rather strong) claim?

    1. No, Margaret. I have no insider knowledges nor have I met Sheel’s parents. I am appalled by Sheel’s behaviour but as he is a grown man I don’t think his mother should necessarily be held to blame. He is responsible for his own illegal actions. My previous comment was only to suggest (and it was just a suggestion) that his mother should not be held accountable for his deeds. My previous comment made it clear that I only suspected she was ashamed and embarrassed by her son’s actions; it certainly was NOT a strongly worded claim. Sheel did wrong and that has been recognised, quite rightly, by the Courts and I absolutely condemn his behaviour. I was merely stating that his mother should not be held liable for what he has done, unless you know otherwise. There is no disputing that Matthew had a torrid time as a result of Sheel’s actions and I applaud him for that.

      1. She cannot of course be held liable unless she had connived to the fraud which is unlikely. However, Sheel ‘s shifty behaviour and practices should have normally triggered some alert and questions as to how he was fuelling his lifestyle .” Dame ” Asha K , does not seem stupid or credulous . And if she was turning a blind eye then she is to blame.

        1. I make no suggestion and repeat again here that I do not believe Dame Asha Khemka was in any way liable or to blame for what occured. She, however, ignored my letter – which was perfectly polite and actually may have alerted her to what was really going on and then blanked me when I saw her (she looked at me like I was the bad person actually). I found this most unforgivable given, by the time of that chance encounter, she must have known what was going on. It showed an utter disrespect for me – a victim of identity fraud by Sheel Khemka – and it is for that reason I dislike her.

  6. Thanks to everyone for their comments following mine, in particular to Matthew for giving specific details for his displeasure. Also JP’S confession that he was (momentarily, one hopes) unable to multi-task!

    1. Temporary inability to multi-task is not a crime and therefore requires no confession. It was a statement of fact. In all truth, Your Honour, it only happens after a very long Sunday.

  7. JP: “Temporary inability to multi-task is not a crime and therefore requires no confession.” You give the secular answer, Grasshopper, and not the religious one… but let’s not digress into a discussion on the merits or otherwise of Confession in the Catholic Church, or indeed let’s not digress into what you were doing all Sunday. I rather think we (ok, I, not we) have strayed from the issue of the appalling Sheel.

  8. Oh for heaven’s sake, Margaret! You and I agree that what Sheel Khemka did was appalling. I do not think there is any further discussion to be had.

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