Saturday, November 14, 2009

British Court Sentenced 4 Men Jail in An Internet Fraud Case Cost $1 Million to NatWest Bank Customers

LONDON, Nov. 14 -- Four men have been jailed by a British court after admitting to an Internet fraud in which nearly $1 million was stolen from NatWest bank customers.

A judge at London's Southwark Crown Court Friday handed down sentences of up to 4 1/2 years to the four gang members, one of whose leaders was identified as Uzbekistan national Azamat Rahmanov, The Herald reported.

Rahmanov pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and transferring criminal property. He faces deportation after his jail term. Also pleading guilty to the same charges was Portuguese national Recardo Pereira, 36, who admitted to looking after bank accounts that received money automatically transferred a computer virus implanted NatWest customers' computers, the newspaper said.

Two others, including a former Angolan political refugee, were also jailed after admitting involvement.

Prosecutors said bank customers were fooled by authentic-looking screen pages appearing with NatWest's logo, in which victims were encouraged to type in their passwords, pin codes and telephone numbers. The Herald the information was transmitted to servers in Ukraine and customers' accounts were drained without their knowledge.

NatWest's parent company, the Royal Bank of Scotland, has recouped about a quarter of the stolen money, the newspaper said.

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