Cyber gang leader jailed for bank scam

April 24th 2014

The leader of an internet gang which stole £1.25m from Barclays and Santander Banks in 2012 and 2013 has been sent to prison. The gang used a 'Trojan horse' device to take over control of computers at several branches as well as stealing the credit and bank card details from customer letters that they had intercepted. The proceeds were used to buy expensive watches and jewellery.

48 year-old Tony Colston-Hayter received a five and a half year sentence for his part in the theft, whilst nine other gang members also received custodial sentences at Southwark Crown Court.

The court was told that Colston-Hayter's life had taken a turn for the worse after he had started to abuse Class A drugs. He had once been a well known Acid House promoter, appearing on the Jonathan Ross show. These photos show him at the age of 22 after organising the then largest Acid House rave in the London area, and now.

Judge Juliet May QC, sentencing, told him: "There is no doubt in my mind that you played a key operational role in taking forward and implementing these plans. I gather you've taken just about every kind of mind altering substance over the years."

A keyboard video mouse (KVM) was used to switch access and remotely control accounts in both banks. In all, 128 transfers totalling £1.25 million were made into accounts set up to launder the stolen money.

Gang members walked into Swiss Cottage and Lewisham branches of Barclays, and Surrey Quays branch of Santander to fit the keyboards. Two other men attempted to hack into Santander's banking system – a move that if successful would have resulted in the theft of "considerable funds", according to the police.

Cards found in raid

Ten men were arrested when police raided an address in Hounslow, West London. Another was arrested nearby after he left the bank. 500 stolen or intercepted cards were also used to fund spending sprees. The card details were obtained using sophisticated social engineering techniques – spoofing genuine bank telephone numbers, calling customers and tricking them into revealing their personal details and PINs.

The men jailed were:

– Lanre Mullins-Abudu, 25 from Putney: 8 years
– Steven Hannah, 53 from Marylebone: 5 years, 10 months
– Tony Colston-Hayter, 48 from Marble Arch: 5 years, 6 months
– Darius Valentin Boldor, 34 from near Sloane Square, London: 2 years, 6 months
– Dean Outram, 32 from Kensal Green, London: 3 years
– Adam Raeburn Jefferson, 38 from Milton Keynes: 1 year, 4 months, suspended for 2 years
– Segun Ogunfidodo, 27 from White City, London: 9 months, suspended for 2 years
– Dola Leroy Odunsi, 29 from Abbots Langley: 9 months, suspended for 2 years
– James Lewis Murphy, 39 from Ebury Bridge Road, London: 6 months (already served on remand)
– Martin Thane, 32 from West Brompton, London: previously sentenced to 6 months conditional discharge, and ordered to attend a rehabilitation clinic for 6 months

Four others convicted of their involvement will be sentenced in June.

By Get Safe Online

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