Two men responsible for more than £200,000 worth of fraudulent transactions in shops across London have been jailed for a combined total of six-and-a-half years.
Wayne Field, 40 (12.12.77) of Tannoy Square, Gipsy Hill, and Ricardo Araujo, 42 (13.02.76) of Appach Road, Brixton, were each found guilty of fraud after a trial at Inner London Crown Court.
The pair were prosecuted as a result of an investigation by the Met’s Fraud and Online Linked Crime (Falcon) Unit, which revealed they had dishonestly obtained bank cards and details for accounts that were not their own.
Between October and November 2014, these bank details were used to buy more than £200,000 worth of goods, including designer clothing, from department stores in London such as Selfridges and Harrods.
The majority of these transactions were caught on CCTV, which led to the identification of Field and Araujo.
Footage clearly showed both men at the relevant times and locations, along with a third unknown person making the physical ‘chip and pin’ transfers.
Field was arrested on 22 December 2014, and Araujo on 5 March 2015. They were sentenced on Thursday, 8 February.
Field was convicted of eight counts of fraud by false representation and one count of possession of an article for use in fraud. He was sentenced to a total of four years’ imprisonment.
Araujo was convicted of seven counts of fraud by false representation and one count of possession of criminal property. He received a total of two-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Simon Allen, from the Met’s Organised Crime Command, said: “This has been a protracted and complex investigation spanning several years and requiring dedication and resilience from all the officers involved. These suspects continued to deny any wrongdoing and continually changed their accounts in order to try and evade justice. The high value of the items fraudulently purchased show just how brazen the defendants were in their actions. We are satisfied that the sentences passed reflects the gravity of the offence.
“We would encourage members of the public to regularly review their accounts and security settings in order to safeguard their personal details and minimise the risk of them being obtained for use in fraud.”
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