Feeds

eBay scammer gets four years

Porridge for under-par golf kit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The leader of a UK-based gang who made millions selling counterfeit luxury golf kit and other knock-off goods through auction site eBay has been jailed for four years.

Gary Bellchambers and six others ran what is reckoned to be the biggest ever such scam between June 2003 and March 2008. Their fraud was eventually rumbled by a trading standards team at Havering Council, who were put on the trail of the fraudsters by pensioner Christine Manz.

The council team worked with eBay to identify 96,000 bogus transactions including golf clubs, clothing and forged Qantas business class lounge pass cards. The crooks supplied cheap knock-off imitations in place of the promised premium quality kit from US manufacturer Callaway Golf.

Bellchambers, 45, of Rainham, who admitted masterminding the scheme, pleaded guilty to fraud along with co-conspirators Keith Thomas, 49, from Rainham, and Chris Moughton, 56, from Blackpool. Four other suspects in the case were found guilty in a trial last December.

Roy Cottee, 65, and his wife Kay, of Rainham, Essex; Helen Wilson, 28, of Hertford, and Sharron Williams, 48, of West Wickham, Kent joined their three accomplices in the dock for a sentencing hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court in London on Thursday.

Ringleader Bellchambers was jailed for four years and three months, with a recommendation to spend at least half that time behind bars. Thomas, the scam's second in command, was sentenced to 16 months in jail, with an order to serve half in custody.

Roy and Kay Cottee were also convicted of conspiracy to distribute Qantas business class lounge cards. Roy Cottee was jailed for 12 months while his wife was handed down a 300 hour community service order.

The other three members of the conspiracy received a combination of suspended sentence and community service orders.

In a statement, eBay UK welcomed the sentences and explained the modus operandi of the crooks. "Bellchambers and his gang of felons used an international network of criminals to open and maintain eBay accounts using a variety of false documentation, bank, credit card and contact details.

"The case which secured today’s convictions was supported by eBay's Fraud Investigation Team and reinforces eBay’s ongoing commitment to fighting counterfeits."

eBay’s Fraud Investigation Team worked with Havering Trading Standards for over three years to make sure Bellchambers and his accomplices were brought to justice. Investigators supplied information from suspect eBay and PayPal accounts to their Trading Standards counterparts as well as testifying in court.

Last year eBay trained 1,666 coppers in the UK, and in the last two years has assisted officers in over 9,000 case investigations, resulting in the arrest of 200 suspected criminals. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.