An organised crime group have been jailed for a combined total of 18 years and 2 months after gaining access to as many as 2,000 BT customers’ accounts in an elaborate phone and email divert scam in the U.K.
Officers from Hampshire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit launched a complex investigation which spanned more than two years and identified £358,345 in losses – but the full extent of the fraud is expected to be much higher.
The gang targeted in excess of 2,000 people, predominantly in the Portsmouth area, between May 2014 and July 2016. They used the details to set-up Paypal accounts to order expensive items which were then delivered to addresses in the city controlled by the group.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard the gang spent the money on Rolex watches, high-value jewellery, TVs and designer clothes. During a Police raid, group leader Festus Emosivwe, 36, put a USB data stick in his mouth and chewed on it when police arrested him, making it impossible to recover any data.
Prosecutor Michael Forster said the gang diverted customers’ email addresses and phones to accounts controlled by the group, meaning victims were “left in the dark” until their money had been fraudulently spent.
Festus Emosivwe was jailed for 44 months, Chloe Maylott, 16 months, Charles Onwu, 43 months, Victor Ngo, 43 months, Pinelopi Chatzikonstantinou, fined £1,000, Adel Qadir, 29 months, Molade Fasuyi, two years and Olukayode Adepoju, 19 months.