"this gang clearly thought they could continue with their criminal lifestyle"
Money launderer Nadeem Abbasi, aged 48, of Wembley, was jailed for two years and three months for his part in a large-scale business scam.
He was part of a gang who stole millions of pounds from unsuspecting businesses and individuals.
Abbasi set up a bogus company and opened business accounts, one of which received £1.9 million on behalf of his gang of accomplices.
Blackfriars Crown Court heard that Bonaventure Chukwuka, of Loughton, led the criminal gang.
They targeted businesses and individuals by hacking into their email accounts and stealing large sums of money.
The gang used computer malware to intercept and steal the log-in details of email accounts belonging to people and businesses all over the world. They intended to identify high-value financial transactions.
They then intercepted the emails and sent fake emails, convincing the victims into paying the money into the alternative UK-based “mule” accounts instead of the intended recipient.
The money was quickly transferred to other accounts, some of which were untraceable.
Some of the funds from the mule accounts were used to buy and export thousands of pounds of baby milk to Nigeria. This was a means of laundering money.
Mansoor Zaman and Mohammed Rahman were responsible for sourcing the mule accounts.
Detectives identified 228 separate frauds committed by the gang between 2014 and 2018, totalling £10,112,312.54.
Abbasi was arrested at Heathrow Airport on February 14, 2018. Zaman was arrested on April 4, 2018, while Rahman was arrested on April 11, 2018.
Many of the 69 victims who gave evidence have been able to recover their losses.
One victim was a small construction company in the south-west of England. It was scammed out of £13,000 in 2017 and subsequently closed.
Eight fraudsters were jailed for more than 43 years.
Nadeem Abbasi pleaded guilty to convert/conceal criminal property. The money launderer was jailed for two years and three months on May 2, 2019.
Mansoor Zaman, aged 27, of no fixed address, was found guilty to commit fraud by false representation, and conspiracy to conceal/transfer criminal property. He was jailed for six years and nine months.
Peckham-based Mohammed Rahman, aged 31, was found guilty of the same charges as Zaman. He will be sentenced at a later date.
Detective Constable Chris Collins of the Falcon Fraud Squad said:
“This gang of fraudsters were unscrupulous, organised and prolific, and over a period of four years stole millions of pounds from unsuspecting businesses and individuals, and lived an extremely comfortable life with the profits.
“The frauds were brazen, and this gang clearly thought they could continue with their criminal lifestyle without detection.”
“I hope this conviction sends a strong message to online fraudsters: we have the ways and means of tracing you and we will seek to bring you to justice.
“We would advise anyone conducting financial business by email to verify the bank account they are sending their money to, by contacting the intended recipient and taking precautions to ensure the money is going to the right place.”
Commander Karen Baxter, National Police Coordinator for Economic Crime at the City of London Police, said:
“As the national lead force for fraud, Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau are responsible for ensuring that the UK can better identify, investigate and detect fraud and cybercrime.
“As a result of the reports made to Action Fraud, the Falcon Unit has been able to achieve justice for the hundreds of victims affected by these substantial crimes.
“This case is a shining example of law enforcement using a joined-up approach to combat fraud and cybercrime.”