Romanian cash machine fraud member jailed

The Old Bailey
The Old Bailey
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A member of a Romanian gang has been jailed for seven years for his part in stealing £1.3 million over a bank holiday weekend by infecting high street cash machines in Blackpool and across England with a computer virus.

Teofil Bortos, 36, of Cheltenham Gardens, Newham, east London, admitted conspiring to defraud ATM provider Cardtronics UK between May 1 and 28 2014.

Bortos, Grigore Paladi and other unknown plotters targeted numerous towns and cities from Blackpool to Brighton over the bank holiday weekend, the Old Bailey heard.

They made off with £1,373,640 by activating malware on the ATM computers in a carefully planned and sophisticated scam.

Over five days from May 21, they hit 51 cashpoints, although Bortos was only present at 19 where around £191,000 was stolen.

None of the stolen money has been recovered.

Following the viral attacks, the malware deleted itself and no customer data was compromised.

Although Bortos was not accused of inserting the malware himself, the prosecution said he was in a trusted position in the gang and was party to the criminal enterprise.

Prosecutor Timothy Godfrey told the court that Paladi had already been jailed for five years at an earlier hearing at Southwark Crown Court.

Bortos had a similar status within the gang as Paladi, 37, from Portsmouth, who admitted the conspiracy and was sentenced last February.

The court heard Paladi personally accessed 15 cash machines in Portsmouth, Bognor Regis, Brighton, Liverpool and London and stole £554,860.