Six-Member Identity Theft Ring Sentenced in UK

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Six men were recently sentenced at the UK's Southwark Crown Court for their involvement in the "design, production and sale of fake identities and the management of online forums where clients were coached in how to commit fraud," according to London's Metropolitan Police Service.

"With the help of six accomplices throughout the United Kingdom, Jason Place of Kent, England, sold 'authentic documents for the purpose of committing fraud,' London's Metropolitan Police said," writes SecurityNewsDaily's Matt Liebowitz. "Those documents, sold on a website called Confidential Access, included fake passports, wage slips, credit histories, postal addresses, driver's licenses, bank statements and utility bills."

"In 2008 Mr. Place, who ran the operation from his home in Alicante, Spain, claimed Confidential Access had a membership of over 10,000 and a net worth of over $200m," The Telegraph reports. "The court heard the website was first uncovered in 2006 after officers swooped on the home of suspected terrorist Abid Haider and discovered links to it on his computer."

"Jason Place was handed jail time of six years and nine months with fellow gang members Mark Powell-Richards, 59, and Allen Stringer, 57 -- found guilty of operating the document printing operation -- sentenced to 2 years and 3 months each, Accomplice Jaipal Singh, 31, was given 18 months," writes CSO Online's John E. Dunn. "Michael Daly, 68, and Arun Thear, 22, were given suspended sentences while co-ringleader Barry Sales was not prosecuted because he is terminally ill."

"This was a sophisticated operation which has netted millions of pounds over the years," Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector Tim Dowdeswell said in a statement. "These cyber criminals not only provided the tools to commit fraud they instructed their clients in how to use them to make the maximum amount of money, whilst ruining real people's credit histories into the bargain."