A man responsible for running a multimillion-pound fraud website pleaded guilty following the largest fraud investigation by the Metropolitan Police.
Tejay Fletcher, 35, pleaded guilty to running iSpoof, a website that allowed criminals and fraudsters to appear as if they were calling from banks, tax offices and other official bodies in an attempt to defraud victims.
They posed as representatives from banks including Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Lloyds, Halifax, First Direct, Natwest, Nationwide and TSB.
The total losses of frauds enabled by iSpoof in the UK alone exceeds £43m, with total global losses estimated to be at least £100m.
“I am incredibly proud of my team in the Cyber Crime unit who ran this investigation resulting in Fletcher pleading guilty. He was the ringleader of a slick fraud website which enabled criminals to defraud innocent people of millions of pounds,” Detective Superintendent Helen Rance said.
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She added that the Met are doing “more than ever” to protect Londoners from cyber fraud and “devised a bespoke plan to reach out to victims who were targeted via iSpoof”.
Charges against Fletcher included making or supplying articles for use in fraud, encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence, possessing criminal property and transferring criminal property, all of which he pleaded guilty to, when appearing at Southwark Crown Court.
Thomas Short, specialist prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, called fraud an “insidious crime” that causes “huge emotional distress and devastation”.
He said: “As the leading administrator of the iSpoof website, Tejay Fletcher helped to provide fraudsters with the tools to cheat innocent people on a shocking scale.
“I hope today’s conviction sends a strong message to criminals that they can no longer hide behind online anonymity.”
Fletcher will be sentenced on Thursday 18 May.