Man admits £1.3m bank cyber fraud
7:55pm Monday 13th January 2014 in © Press Association 2014
A man has admitted using hi-tech gadgets to plunder huge sums of money from a high street bank.
Tony Colston-Hayter pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court, London, to conspiring to steal £1.3 million of credit balances from Barclays Bank before diverting the cash to 41 separate bank accounts on April 5 last year.
He admitted being in possession of a "vast quantity" of personal mail and bank details - estimated to be in the region of 400,000 documents - and a hi-tech 24 SIM phone exchange machine for use in order to commit fraud.
The 48-year-old also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud using credit cards on or before September 19 last year.
Prosecutors have said Colston-Hayter, of no fixed abode, was one of the ringleaders in a gang which stole card details belonging to thousands of people and raided Barclays and Santander branches using special devices.
Co-conspirators Darius Bolder, 34, of Chelsea, south-west London, and Michael Harper, 26, of Gospel Oak, north London, pleaded guilty to using a credit card in the name of Mr Alfieri to buy three Rolex watches at Selfridges.
Bolder also admitted stealing credit balances from Barclays on or before April 5 last year.
Another two men - Segun Ogunfidodo, 26, and Leroy Odunusi, 24, both of White City, west London - pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit fraud using credit cards.
Asad Qureshi, 35, of Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, and Dean Outram, 34, of Clifford Gardens, Kensal Rise, north-west London, have previously admitted offences linked to money stolen or laundered from Santander Bank, the court heard.
Alleged ringleader, Lanre Mullins Abudu, 25, of Putney, south-west London, denies charges of fraud, theft, and possession of articles for use in fraud and will stand trial along with four other men.
He and Akash Vaghela, 27, of Beavers Lane, Hounslow, west London, deny conspiring to steal credit balances from Santander Bank using a keyboard video monitoring (KVM) device on September 12.
Duane Jean-Jaques, 24, of Belsize Road, north-west London, denies conspiring to steal from Barclays and a charge of concealing criminal property.
Steven Hannah, 42, of Bell Street, Marylebone, north-west London, and James Lewis Murphy, 34, of Chelsea, south-west London also deny conspiracy to commit fraud using credit cards on before September 19 last year.
All five men will stand trial at Southwark Crown Court on February 17.
Judge Alistair McCreath said all of the defendants who pleaded guilty will be sentenced following the trial.
Colston-Hayter and Mullins Abudu were remanded in custody, while the other defendants were released on bail.