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The Metropolitan Police Vs Confidential Access – six sentenced

11 June 2012

Six men associated with Confidential Access were given sentences at Southwark Crown Court on Friday (8 June), ranging from 6 years 9 months to 2 years suspended, for “a catalogue of fraud offences.”

The Confidential Access website, which is “offshore in a jurisdiction which doesn't suffer Western intimidation,” is still operating. It says, “Today [CA] can show you how to build a perfectly legal new credit file, we can give you advice and consultancy; what about problems with getting a bank account? Maybe you need to show proof of funds with a recognised bank we can lodge up to £250 million on paper using a legal escrow service; last but not least we can share any legal duplicate document you can think of via our caxbit torrent server...”

But if you are thinking of using their services, particularly if you are a UK citizen, think very hard. "We have already brought many of their students in crime to court,” comments Detective Inspector Tim Dowdeswell of the Metropolitan Police, “and will continue to work with other police forces and partners to bring those people who bought and used these identities in their own frauds to justice.”

This follows the Met’s announcement on Friday that six men were sentenced “at Southwark Crown Court for a catalogue of fraud offences” connected with the CA site. All had previously pleaded guilty to the charges, although a note on CA suggests that one, Jason Place, did not originally intend such a plea. “Jason Place (CA Founder),” reads the note, “Has Today Pleaded "Guilty" To One Count of ‘Conspiracy To Defraud contrary to common law’ On Tuesday 24th April 2012. This dramatic U-Turn was made after Joanne Tragas gave evidence against Jason Place Via The US Secret Service For The UK State which damaged his defence!” 

Joanne Tragas is already serving a sentence of 25 years in prison for credit card fraud in the US.

CA claims legality by describing its products as ‘novelty items’. However, says the Met, its investigations “revealed a well practised production line of very authentic documents for the purpose of committing fraud.” A top-of-the-range product, the ‘Platinum Profile’, cost £5,500 and came complete with instructions on how to commit identity fraud. Another product, the ‘Creditmaster’, cost less at £2000 but required users to pay CA 50% of the proceeds of the first fraud or the credit profile would be wrecked.

There now appears to be a cat and mouse process in operation. The Met’s breakthrough came, it says, when it seized CA servers in Hong Kong, and managed to break the encryption. “Determined to continue Confidential Access responded by setting up servers in Holland which were also later seized for analysis by the MPS.” Well, the CA site is still operational; but it would be a brave or foolish person who chooses to use it. The stakes are high. “Of the 11,000 clients who used the company's services,” says the Met, “some spent more than £20,000 on false documentation during the course of their business with the company. Some clients went on to commit fraud of their own which in some cases totalled more than £1 million.”

The Metropolitan Police, and other law enforcement agencies (“Scotland Yard is liaising with other forces, including Greater Manchester Police and Hampshire Constabulary, to trace customers who bought fraud packages for up to £5,500,” writes the Telegraph), will be watching very closely.

This article is featured in:
Encryption  •  Identity and Access Management  •  Internet and Network Security

 

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