Search

Canning Town man admits role in £10m hacking fraud

PUBLISHED: 16:17 28 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:18 28 March 2019

Gheorghe Scurtu. Picture: Met Police

Gheorghe Scurtu. Picture: Met Police

Met Police

A Canning Town man has admitted to his involvement in stealing more than £10million through hacking emails over a four year period.

Gheorghe Alexandru Scurtu, 20, of Ladysmith Road, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to money launder.

Several other people accused of being part of the organised criminal gang had denied their involvement and faced a six month trial at Blackfriars Crown Court.

Jurors heard how the gang, led by Bonaventure Sunday Chukwuka, targeted business and individuals by hacking into their email accounts and stealing large sums of money.

Detectives identified 228 separate cases committed between 2014 and 2018, with the gang using malware to intercept and steal log-in details with the intent to identify high-value transactions.

They then intercepted emails about these transactions and sent emails duping the victims into paying the funds into one of 165 identified ‘mule’ accounts, run by the fraudsters, rather than the intended recipient.

The money was then quickly transferred on too other accounts, with some funds used to buy and export baby milk to Nigeria as part of a money laundering scheme.

The court heard how a construction company targeted by the gang was forced to close after being defrauded of nearly £13,000.

Bonaventure Chukwuka, 41, of Roding Gardens, Loughton, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, and conspiracy to conceal or transfer criminal property. He was also found guilty of possession of a prohibited item (a phone) in prison.

His wife Queen Chukwuka, 32, of Roding Gardens, Loughton, was found guilty of acquiring/possessing criminal property.

Bonaventure Chukwuka’s brother Emmanuel Chike Chukwuka, 27, also of Roding Gardens, Loughton, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud. He was found not guilty of conspiracy to money launder.

A third brother, Christian Chukwuka, 39 of Latchetts Shaw, Basildon, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to conceal or transfer criminal property.

Mansoor Zaman, 27, of no fixed abode was found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, and conspiracy to conceal or transfer criminal property.

Andrew Chike Chukwu, 35, of River Road, Buckhurst Hill, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to conceal or transfer criminal property.

His wife Grace Plange Chukwu, 39, of River Road, Buckhurst Hill, was found guilty of acquiring/possessing criminal property.

Mohammed Rahman, 31, of Garnies Close, Peckham, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to conceal or transfer criminal property.

Ionut Relu Muresan, 34, of Long Deacon Road, Chingford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to money launder.

Nadeem Abbasi, 48, of St Michaels Avenue, Wembley, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convert/conceal criminal property.

All are set to be sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court on a date to be confirmed.

Most Read

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Most Read

Latest from the Newham Recorder

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists