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eBay ID fraudster jailed

Four years for phisher king

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A UK-based phishing fraudster who raked in an estimated £200,000 after tricking eBay members into handing over their account details was jailed for four years on Tuesday. David Levi, 29, of Lytham, Lancashire, who is already in prison serving a four-year sentence for drug offences, pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment for the fraud charges to run concurrently with his present spell of porridge. In addition, he also received a 12-month consecutive sentence for perverting the course of justice.

Preston Crown Court heard that Levi masterminded a phishing scam that conned more than 160 people into handing over their password and user names in response to bogus email security notices purporting to come from the auction site. Levi and his cohorts assumed the identities of these people between July 2003 and July 2004 to lend credibility to bogus auctions of non-existent goods.

Levi's younger brother, Guy, 22, of St Anne's, Lancs, and co-conspirator Daniel Lett, 22, of Lytham, Lancs were jailed for 21 months and two years respectively after admitting conspiracy to defraud. Four accomplices who permitted the use of their bank accounts to receive the proceeds of bogus auctions were each sentenced to six months imprisonment, The Daily Telegraph reports. These four were named as Derek Anderson, 59, of St Annes, Lancs; Craig Jameson, 31, of Cheadle, Greater Manchester; Gareth Rice, 22, of St Annes, Lancs and Chris Worden, 23, of Blackpool, Lancs.

Sentencing of the Lancashire gang this week comes days after a different UK-based gang were jailed for a total of eight and a half years over a separate fraud. Nicolae Cretanu, 30, and his wife Adriana, 23, a Romanian couple based in east London, conned victims into handing over cash for non-existent goods.

The duo operated using 12 alias to run bogus auctions for approximately two years. Victims were told they had failed to win auctions for anything from non-existent cars to concert tickets before being offered a "second chance" to secure goods by sending cash directly to the gang, who pocketed the dosh without delivering anything but empty promises. George Titar, 23, a Romanian illegal immigrant, was used by the gang as a 'foot-soldier' to pick up their ill-gotten funds from Western Union offices in London. ®

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