Egg fraud suspects charged

Among them a fitness instructor, estate agent and secretary

The three men arrested at the end of August for trying to defraud online bank Egg, plus another man and a woman, have been charged with conspiracy to defraud.

Initial reports suggested that hundreds of thousands of pounds had been stolen from Egg by an organised crime syndicate. However, Egg denied any money had been lost and, within days, a different story emerged. Far from being streetwise hackers, it transpired that the accused hadn't managed to achieve even the most basic level of self-protection, making a large number of false applications for loans and overdrafts from the same computer.

Well, they've learnt their lesson now. The Web wallies are: property consultant Roy Graham, 29, of Dunstable, Northants; personal fitness instructor Jonathan Ellis, 27, of Milton Keynes; estate agent Christian Palmer, 27, of Milton Keynes; mortgage broker William Ross, 36, of Blisworth, Bucks; and secretary Lisa Ramsey, 23, of Stony Stratford.

They will all appear at Milton Keynes magistrates on 23 October. Detectives are apparently still looking for a 24-year-old man "in connection" with the case.

At the same time, Egg has obviously attempted to stem the bad publicity but announcing today that it will follow Halifax's lead and give away security software to its users. Lucky Egg punters will receive £100 worth of Network Associates kit - a slightly more generous gift than Halifax's offer of a £20 Trend Micro PC-cillin 2000. ®

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