A MIDLAND businessman and a student have been sentenced for helping to run a crooked multi million pound firm specialising in providing fake identities to customers from its base in the Costa del Sol.
The gang set up its company Confidential Access (CA) in plush villas in Alicante, Spain, and supplied bogus documents and coaching tips on how to commit fraud to its clients.
Police conducted a two-and-a-half year investigation which saw six men jailed at London’s Southwark Crown Court.
These included Jaipal Singh, 31, a telecoms company director, of Franchise Street, Wednesbury, who was sentenced to 18 months for conspiracy to defraud, and student AT, 22, of Walsall Road, West Bromwich, who was sentenced to six months suspended for two years and given 150 hours’ unpaid community service for forgery.
Singh and AT were arrested along with four others after undercover reporters bought a fake driving licence in the name of former Home Secretary and Redditch MP Jacqui Smith.
For £5,500 CA customers could buy a Platinum Profile, complete with instructions on how to commit identity fraud. For £2,000, clients could buy their 100 per cent Creditmaster profile which was exclusive to VIP members. If the customer successfully committed fraud, CA asked for 50 per cent of the takings, or threatened to wreck their profile.
Web chat forums were a key part of the fraud providing clients with information.
Nautical terms were used to distinguish the varying levels of trust.
All new paying members would begin as deckhands and as they gained trust would climb the ranks from Skylarker to Shore Patrol, up to the Ship’s Surgeon.
Detective Inspector Tim Dowdeswell from Metropolitan Police said: “We have already brought many of their students in crime to court and will continue to.”
The operation was run by Jason Place and Barry Sales in Alicante while employees around the UK monitored their website and made various fake documents.
Place, 42 of Romulus Road, Gravesend, Kent, was jailed for six years and nine months for conspiracy to defraud.
Sales escaped justice, with the Crown Prosecution Service deciding not to prosecute because he is terminally ill.
Mark Powell-Richards, 59, a credit broker and antiques dealer of, Bickley, Kent, was sentenced to two years and three months for conspiracy to defraud. Allen Stringer, 57, of, Crossgates, Leeds was jailed for the same term and charge.
Michael Daly, 68, a former chauffeur of Erith, Kent, was sentenced to 12 months suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid community service for conspiracy to defraud.
All six had pleaded guilty at earlier hearings.
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