Jail for internet identity fraud
Source: BBC News
Date: November 22, 2003
Six men have been jailed after a GBP 345,000 plot to defraud banks by obtaining fake identities over the internet.
The men - from the London area - used house auction websites to find out the details of people who had died.
With the information, they forged documents to open bank accounts and receive loans from Lloyds TSB and the Halifax and Co-operative banks.
The men were jailed for between 18 months and four-and-a-half years.
The gang were arrested while they were planning to defraud the banks of a further GBP 225,000.
The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit - which led the operation - said the case was its biggest success since it was set up in 2001, and highlighted the growing problem of identity theft.
- George O'Neill, 39, from Enfield, Middlesex, was jailed for two-and-a-half years.
- Ibrahim Sanyaolu, 24, of Chadwell Heath, Essex was sentenced to four-and-a-half years.
- Toluwalaise Ajike, 29, of no fixed abode, and Mark Obisesan, 28, from London, both got two years.
- Martin Badejoko, 30, from Chadwell Heath, was jailed for three years.
- Huseyin Ekinci, 21, from London, was sentenced to 18 months.
Detective Chief Superintendent Len Hynds, head of the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, said: "Identity theft is a growing problem, particularly over the internet, and this case underlines the need for people to do everything they can to protect that most precious commodity - their identity.
"The internet offers huge legitimate benefits for modern society^; however, with it comes powerful opportunities for those seeking to abuse the benefits for criminal gain.
"This case highlights the complex sophistication and organised lengths that criminals will go to."
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