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Man Jailed for Part in Global Fraud Ring

Police in London are celebrating this week after a 29-year-old man was jailed for over five years for his part in a major online banking fraud ring.

Tomasz Skowron, of Meredith Road in Worthing, was sentenced on Monday at Croydon Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud, fraud and money laundering offences.

The Metropolitan Police’s Falcon Cyber Crime Unit identified that Skowron had made several fraudulent payments into money mule accounts and bank accounts under his control, according to a police statement.

Using intelligence offered up by the banking industry, they traced back an IP address associated with the payments to Skowron’s house, back in 2014.

There they apparently found more incriminating evidence on his computers and phones. Text messages sent to accomplice Piotr Ptach are said to have revealed that he was in the process of identifying and recruiting new money mules.

Skowron was also linked to two Man in the Middle cyber-attacks against UK construction firms in April that year.

Malware covertly downloaded to victims’ machines enabled cyber-criminals to monitor their bank account details and then hijack accounts to illegally transfer funds out.

The two companies involved in the scheme are said to have lost £500,000 as a result, with £39,000 transferred into an account Skowron had opened only nine days before the scam.

Ptach was handed down three years at Southwark Crown Court earlier this year.

"Skowron played a significant part in a wider criminal network that was responsible for several high-value frauds using malware,” explained Detective Constable Jody Stanger, from the Met’s Falcon unit.

“The proceeds of this fraud were then laundered through an organized money mule network. This conviction and sentence is the culmination of a long and complex investigation and shows that we will relentlessly pursue criminals involved in serious and organised crime online."

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