Two members of an organised crime gang in Blackpool which stole more than £300,000 using fraudulently obtained bank cards have been ordered to pay back some of their ill gotten gains.
The fraudsters posed as genuine account holders to order new debit and credit cards and PINs which they intercepted in the post and used to make fraudulent payments and cash withdrawals.
Harrington Okorodudu, the former owner of Low Cost Autos in Blackpool, used cards the group obtained to pay fines registered to vehicles associated with his company, and council tax.
Cards were also used to make repeated high value purchases through co-defendant Sunday Wilson’s mobile phone business Gadget Trader.
The fraud was spotted by Lloyds Bank and Barclays and referred to the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), a specialist anti-fraud squad sponsored by the banking industry and made up of officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service, bank investigators and support staff from UK Finance.
Okorodudu, Wilson and their co-defendants, Prince Ekuruema and Igho Emaike,were found guilty of fraud and money laundering after a trial at Preston Crown Court.
and were sentenced in September.
A Proceeds of Crime Act investigation was then launched into their affairs.
During a hearing at Preston's Sessions House Court, Judge Simon Newell was told figures still had not been agreed for Harrington Okorodudu, 45, of Ludlow Grove, Blackpool, who is serving three and a half years.
However, the court ruled Prince Ekuruema, 38, of Crossfield Road, Skelmersdale, who served a six month jail term, had benefited by £7,500 from his crimes.
He was ordered to pay back £1,000.
Sunday Wilson, 51, of Crossland Road, Hawes Side, Blackpool, who is serving three years, was found to have benefitted by £24,500, but had no assets to seize and was ordered to pay a nominal fee of £1 - though the authorities can revisit his finances in future.
It is understood Igho Emaike, 41, of Belmont Avenue, Blackpool, did not form part of the financial proceedings.
He was previously given a three-month term suspended for a year and a curfew.