Two men sentenced for large-scale credit card fraud
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We have welcomed the sentencing of two men who stole details from more than 1,000 credit cards to book flights, hotels and goods.
Phillip Carl Lam, 30 years, of Brittania Crescent, Dingle and Steven Noone, 38 years, of Childwall Priory Road, Childwall were each sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to four years, nine months in prison after being convicted of credit card fraud and money laundering. Lam (below) was sentenced in his absence, and a bench warrant issued for his arrest.
Lam and his family flew on a number of international flights themselves having made bookings for journeys and accommodation with compromised credit cards, as well as laundering money through gambling accounts as well as converting some of the cash into Bitcoin.
Lam also traded card data and used a social media account to advertise discounted goods and holidays that he had purchased using the compromised cards.
The offending was initially reported by Jet2.com and Jet2holidays who had seen more than 20 flights booked online without the knowledge of the legitimate card holder between May and September 2016, totalling more than £21,000 worth of services. They raised their suspicions with authorities, and following a lengthy investigation the men were identified after extensive trawls phone and internet data by investigators.
When Lam and Noone were arrested and computers seized during warrants on 4 July 2017, Noone’s was found to contain the details for more than 1,100 cards from the UK and USA, and evidence he traded the card details online was also found.
Detective Inspector Holly Chance said: “We welcome the fact that these two fraudsters will be jailed.
“They stole credit card details, and spent money they simply had no right to spend. As well as taking the cash of the legitimate owners of those cards, they also took money from people who bought holidays from them in good faith. Many of those people then found that payments had ultimately been rejected and hotels demanded payment they believed they had already made.
“The trail of victims they left in their wake was significant, from individuals to flight and holiday operators, so it is very satisfying to see that justice has been secured for all those affected.
“They committed the offences in order to fund their lavish lifestyles, enjoying expensive holidays literally at the expense of other people.
“It is very clear that they had no regard for the impact of their actions on both the businesses they were defrauding and the people whose credit card details they stole.
“Merseyside Police has helped secure bank refunds for many of the victims, thanks to the intervention of Merseyside Police’s Financial Abuse Safeguarding officers (FASOs) – who help to secure the defrauded cash. But the experience will have still caused distress and shaken their trust.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all those victims who co-operated with our investigation, and to thank Detective Constable Emma Singleton without whose dedication and hard work this result would not have been possible.”
Det Insp Chance added: “Our Economic Crime Team is committed to finding people responsible for committing fraud and bringing them to justice, even those who mistakenly believe the internet offers them a degree of anonymity.
“I would urge anyone who spots any suspicious activity which they believe to fraudulent to contact us or Action Fraud so that action can be taken to bring these people to justice.”
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: “These sentencings are very welcome news in the fight against fraud, and they send out a strong message to anyone who thinks they can get away with this type of deception. I would like to pay tribute to our fraud department who work tirelessly to stamp this activity out, and who work closely with police forces across the UK to ensure that appropriate action is taken against fraudsters. I would also like to thank the Merseyside Police for their collaborative approach to working with us, which helped secure these convictions.”
· Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre. If you believe you have been a victim of fraud you can contact them on 0300 123 2040 or go to www.actionfraud.police.uk