The mastermind behind a global “spoofing shop” that scammed victims out of as much as £100 million ($124 million) has been sentenced to over 13 years in a UK prison.
Tejay Fletcher, 35, pleaded guilty over his role as the lead administrator of the website ISpoof.cc, an online shop where criminals bought a subscription to buy scamming tools. He was charged with fraud and criminal property offenses between 2020 and 2022.
ISpoof provided software that allowed fraudsters, who paid in Bitcoin, to disguise their phone numbers so it appeared they were calling from major banks including Barclays Plc, HSBC Holdings Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc. The software made it easier to trick people into giving them personal details to drain their bank accounts.
Fletcher “created a sophisticated article for fraud that generated significant profits,” said Judge Sally Cahill at Southwark Crown Court Friday. “For all the victims, it has been a harrowing period.”
Prosecution lawyers said Fletcher facilitated the fraud on an “industrial scale” and total losses were as high as £100 million globally, with £43 million coming from the UK alone. Criminals paid “hundreds, if not thousands of pounds a month” to use the technology and Fletcher received the majority of the profit, lawyers said.
The probe was the UK’s largest fraud investigation led by London’s Metropolitan Police Service, who worked in connection with the FBI, Europol and Dutch authorities.
Copyright 2023 Bloomberg.
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