A gang of fraudsters that stole tens of thousands of pounds from victims has been jailed following a North Yorkshire Police fraud investigation.
Shaun Orton, 40, from Doncaster, 24 year-old Colburn man Jamie Mckee and 45 year-old Matthew Bookbinder from Southampton were sentenced at Teesside Crown Court.
On two occasions in 2016 the gang misled Lloyds bank into joining their bank accounts up with those of unsuspecting victims to steal their money.
On August 12 2016, Orton and a second man, who remains unidentified, went into a branch of Lloyds in the market town of Sleaford in Lincolnshire for a pre-arranged meeting to join two bank accounts.
They said they were brothers-in-law and the unnamed man, who was purporting to be the genuine account holder, wanted Orton to have control of his finances while he was abroad.
The account was joined and over the next twelve hours £60,600 was transferred out of the unwitting genuine account holder’s account into Orton’s Lloyds bank account.
A month later on September 14, McKee and Bookbinder went into the Lloyds branch at Wellgate in Rotherham, for another pre-arranged meeting.
Bookbinder had a fake ID and was purporting to be the genuine named account holder.
The accounts manager was told that they were joining the accounts because McKee was due to marry the sister of the genuine account holder and they needed to use the account during their honeymoon.
The men provided the necessary information and the application was processed.
Following both instances, large sums of money was transferred into their own bank accounts, or multiple high value purchases and transfer transactions were made which included high value purchases of foreign currency, high value cash withdrawals and the purchase of expensive clothes and Rolex watches.
The scam came to light when McKee reported his card stolen in the early hours of September 15, which led to the police investigation.
At last Thursday's hearing Orton was sentenced to three years and nine months imprisonment for fraud and conspiracy to steal, McKee to 18 months imprisonment for conspiracy to steal and Bookbinder to 16 months for theft.
Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, Head of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Fraud and Economic Crime Unit said: “The sentence handed down to McKee, Orton and Bookbinder brings to an end a significant fraud investigation for North Yorkshire Police which has put these serious fraudsters behind bars for a very long time.
“Since this investigation began around a year and a half ago, we’ve worked closely with Lloyds bank and to enable us to piece together a huge amount of evidence.
“Fraud ruins people’s lives and the individuals in this case acted out of pure greed and total disregard for others.
“I’d like to thank all the officers, investigators and other staff who have worked so tirelessly to bring these individuals to justice.”
The sentence comes as North Yorkshire Police has, last week, launched a six-month awareness campaign to help the public protect themselves against fraud titled ‘Take Five North Yorkshire’.
You can report to Action Fraud by visiting actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. In an emergency dial 999.