Man pleaded guilty for his role in running a website involved in multi-million-pound fraud following the largest fraud investigation that has ever taken place in the UK, led by the Metropolitan Police and supported by international law enforcement partners.
Tejay Fletcher, 35, pleaded guilty to the charges of making or supplying articles for use in fraud, encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence, possessing criminal property and transferring criminal property during his appearance in Southwark Crown Court on 20 April.
He was a leading administrator of ispoof.cc, an online shop from which fraudsters could buy the tools to carry out their criminal trade by paying for a subscription.
In exchange for monthly subscriptions, iSpoof provided its users with services, which included the ability for its subscribers to use a caller ID ‘spoof’ to appear as if they were calling victims from a bank or other trusted organisation.
Using iSpoof services, criminal users could call unsuspecting bank customers pretending to be genuine employees, and – with the assistance of other iSpoof tools – obtain passwords, PIN codes, and then access customers’ bank accounts and empty them.
The total losses to victims of frauds enabled by iSpoof in the UK exceeds £43 million, with the total global losses estimated to be at least £100 million.
In the UK there were more than 200,000 victims targeted by users of iSpoof. Many of these iSpoof users have been identified by the police and are being investigated and 70,000 victims have been contacted by the police as part of these investigations.
The amount received from users in iSpoof subscriptions and then paid out to Fletcher and others linked to iSpoof was 112.6 Bitcoin (BTC), or approximately £3.2 million.
Fletcher played the leading role as the website administrator for the majority of time iSpoof was operating and received by far the largest share of the profits of iSpoof, receiving at least £1.3 million from the fraudulent site.
Thomas Short, Specialist Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: “As the leading administrator of the iSpoof website, Tejay Fletcher helped to provide fraudsters with the tools to cheat innocent people on a shocking scale.
“Fraud is an insidious crime and the cost to the many victims in this case has not just been financial; it has also caused huge emotional distress and devastation.
“We want to encourage all those who think they’ve been a victim of a fraud to come forward and report it.
“The CPS works closely with police to bring fraudulent offenders like Fletcher to justice and I hope today’s conviction sends a strong message to criminals that they can no longer hide behind online anonymity.”
Helen Rance, Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent, said: “I am incredibly proud of my team in the Cyber Crime unit who ran this investigation resulting in Fletcher pleading guilty. He was the ringleader of a slick fraud website which enabled criminals to scam innocent people of millions of pounds.
“We are doing more than ever before to protect Londoners from spoofing and cyber fraud and devised a bespoke plan to reach out to victims who were targeted via iSpoof. “
The CPS said they intend to use confiscation proceedings to prevent Fletcher from profiting from his crimes.
He will be sentenced on the 18 and 19 May 2023.
(Images: Metropolitan Police)