Fraud school in Spain closed down

LAST UPDATED: 13 Jun, 2012 @ 09:50
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Fraud school in Spain closed down

A BRITISH gang who ran a lucrative ‘fraud school’ for conmen has been jailed.

The group, who trained wannabe fraudsters and supplied them with fake documentation, got up to six years each following a three-year investigation.

They had made millions providing fake documents and instructions on how to commit fraud to thousands of clients online.

This included the creation of false bank statements, wage slips, driving licences and utility bills from their office in Alicante.

They also gave advice and unofficial ‘tutorials’ to conmen based on the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca.

The criminal enterprise, known as Confidential Access (CA), even sold so-called ‘platinum’ products costing €7,000, which included detailed information about how to commit identity fraud.

In total, around 11,000 people used CA’s services through online forums which used nautical terms to determine the level of trust given to each member.

Some spent more than €25,000 on false documents, with some going on to commit crimes worth more than €1 million.

Detective Inspector Tim Dowdeswell said: “This was a sophisticated operation which has netted millions of pounds over the years.

“These cyber criminals not only provided the tools to commit fraud, they instructed their clients in how to use them to make the maximum amount of money, while ruining real people’s credit histories into the bargain.”

Alicante-based Jason Place (pictured), 42, from Kent, was jailed for six years, while accomplice Barry Sales was not prosecuted due to terminal illness.

Mark Powell-Richards, 59, a credit broker from Kent and Allen Stringer, 57, from Leeds, were both sentenced to 225 months for conspiracy to defraud.

Michael Daly, 68, and Arun Thear, 22, both received suspended sentences, while Jaipal Singh, 31, was sentenced to 18 months for conspiracy to defraud.

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