Two fraudsters have been jailed for their roles in the dispersal of almost £120,000 of stolen funds. Clive Coombes and Eddie Ellis were sentenced to a total of more than five years in jail following the laundering of the stolen money through a series of bank accounts.
In September 2013, an unknown individual gained access to an account at the Co-operative Bank. Three transfers totalling £119,700 were then made into an account in the name of a company controlled by Coombes.
Over a three-week period a series of transfers and withdrawals were made until all the funds had gone. Coombes said that the money was a loan and produced bogus documents in an attempt to substantiate the claim.
£26,700 of the stolen money was paid into another individual’s bank account to repay a loan owed by Ellis. A search of Ellis’s house found paperwork identical to the bogus documents supplied by Coombes.
The fraudulent activity was identified by the Co-operative Bank and passed to the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit to investigate. Sponsored by the banking industry, the DCPCU is a partnership between UK Finance, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police together with the Home Office.
Coombes was sentenced at Southampton Crown Court on 21 July 2017 and Ellis was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court on 28 July 2017. Ellis was also sentenced for a separate fraud on the same date.
Established in April 2002, the DCPCU has since achieved an estimated £486 million in savings from reduced fraud activity.
Det. Insp. Sarah Ward of the DCPCU said:
“Coombes and Ellis attempted to profit from their criminal activity by laundering stolen funds through bank accounts. Their sentences send a strong message to others considering a similar path that you will be caught and punished for your crimes.”
Notes to editors:
Clive Melvyn Coombes, 29/07/1969, of Redthorn Close, Cheltenham: 3 years imprisonment for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and 18 months imprisonment for conspiracy to money launder to run concurrently.
Eddie Lee Ellis, 13/07/1964, address unknown: 10 months imprisonment. Ellis was also sentenced to an additional 10 months for a separate fraud, to run consecutively.
The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) is a unique proactive police unit, with a national remit, formed as a partnership between UK Finance, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police together with the Home Office. It is fully sponsored by the cards and banking industries, with an ongoing brief to investigate, target and, where appropriate, arrest and seek successful prosecution of offenders responsible for card, cheque and payment fraud crimes. It is headed up by a Detective Chief Inspector and comprises officers from the Metropolitan and City of London police forces who work alongside banking industry fraud investigators and support staff.
UK Finance is a new trade association which was formed on 1 July 2017 to represent the finance and banking industry operating in the UK. It will represent around 300 firms in the UK providing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services. The new organisation brings together most of the activities previously carried out by the Asset Based Finance Association, the British Bankers’ Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Financial Fraud Action UK, Payments UK and the UK Cards Association.