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A Liverpool man who became a 'money mule' for an online fraudster has been sentenced for money laundering.
Frantisek Peter, 38, of Alderson Road, Wavertree, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday 18th March), where he was given a nine month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, 120 hours unpaid work and a 10 day rehabilitation requirement, after pleading guilty to two counts of money laundering.
In December 2018 a company in Hampshire had their emails compromised. The email compromise meant that a suspect was able to login to the email account of a company employee whose role it is to request payments from customers.
In this case a false invoice was sent to a customer by the suspects with ‘new’ bank account details. It is believed Peter either offered his account to be used or he was paid to allow the money to pass through his account. The person who compromised the email address has not been traced.
Peter then took the payment - £24,356.90 - and began to transfer funds to other accounts or purchase Euro currency with it, to the tune of £14,330.
The fraud was identified by the company’s bank and was originally investigated by Hampshire Police before being transferred to Merseyside. Peter was traced to his home address in Wavertree.
Constable Tony Madden, a cybercrime investigator, said: "Peter claimed to have been approached in the street by a stranger and offered an extensive loan. He claimed that the money that appeared in his account was the loan that he was due to repay in instalments but that the payments were never finalised and he wasn’t able to get hold of the man who originally offered the loan.
"We believe that he either offered for his bank account to be used or was paid for allowing the money to pass through his account.
"Merseyside Police are taking a robust stance against those people choosing to allow their bank accounts to be used by fraudsters and I pleased to see that Peter has been put before the courts as a result of his actions.
"These are not victimless crimes. Businesses that are fraudulently targeted in such a way can suffer huge financial losses.
"I hope that this case will deter anyone from anyone allowing their own bank accounts to be used in such a way."