A Colburn man who was part of a gang of fraudsters that stole tens of thousands of pounds from victims has been jailed following a North Yorkshire Police fraud investigation.
24-year-old Jamie Mckee was sent to prison along with 40-year-old Shaun Orton from Doncaster and 45-year-old Matthew Bookbinder from Southampton.
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On two separate occasions, on Friday 12 August 2016 and on Wednesday 14 September 2016, the gang misled Lloyds bank into joining their bank accounts up with those of unsuspecting victims to steal their money.
At 12.20pm on Friday 12 August 2016 two men attended the branch of Lloyds bank in the market town of Sleaford in Lincolnshire for a pre-arranged meeting to join two bank accounts.
One of the men was Shaun Orton while a second man, who remains unidentified, posed as, and provided the details for, a genuine account holder who had no knowledge of this activity.
During this appointment the men told the bank staff that they were brothers-in-law and the man who was purporting to be the genuine account holder wanted Orton to have control of his finances whilst he was abroad for a period of time.
The account was joined and over the next twelve hours a total of £60,600 was transferred out of the genuine account holder’s account into Orton’s Lloyds bank account.
At 10am on Wednesday 14 September 2016, Jamie McKee and Matthew Bookbinder entered the Lloyds banking branch situated at Wellgate in Rotherham, South Yorkshire for a pre-arranged meeting with the branch accounts manager.
Bookbinder was in possession of fake ID and was purporting to be a genuine named account holder. The appointment had been made with the intention of joining together their accounts.
The accounts manager was told that they were joining the accounts in Rotherham because McKee was due to marry the sister of the genuine account holder and they needed to use the account during their honeymoon.
The men provided all necessary information and the application was processed.
Following both instances, large sums of money was transferred into their own bank accounts, or multiple high value purchases and transfer transactions were made which included high value purchases of foreign currency, high value cash withdrawals and the purchase of expensive clothes and Rolex watches.
Details of the scam came to light when McKee reported his card as stolen in the early hours of 15 September 2016 which led to the North Yorkshire Police investigation.
Shaun Michael Orton was sentenced to three years and nine months imprisonment for fraud and conspiracy to steal. Jamie Lee McKee was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for conspiracy to steal. Matthew Alex Bookbinder was sentenced to 16 months for theft.
Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, head of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Fraud and Economic Crime Unit said:
“The sentence handed down to McKee, Orton and Bookbinder brings to an end a significant fraud investigation for North Yorkshire Police which has put these serious fraudsters behind bars for a very long time.
“Since this investigation began around a year and a half ago, we’ve worked closely with Lloyds bank and to enable us to piece together a huge amount of evidence.
“Fraud ruins people’s lives and the individuals in this case acted out of pure greed and total disregard for others.
“I’d like to thank all the officers, investigators and other staff who have worked so tirelessly to bring these individuals to justice.”
The sentence comes as North Yorkshire Police has, last week, launched a six-month awareness campaign to help the public protect themselves against fraud titled ‘Take Five North Yorkshire’.
More information about the campaign, and advice on how to protect yourself and your business from fraudsters can be found by visiting northyorkshire.police.uk/fraud or following the Take Five North Yorkshire hashtag (#TFNY) on Facebook and Twitter.
If you have been affected by any type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. In an emergency dial 999.