A Northampton man who helped launder over £1.2million stolen from bank accounts has been sentenced in court.
Steven Addo, 42, of Abington Grove, Northampton, was sentenced along with four others at Luton Crown Court on Friday (February 2) for his part in the "extensive" fraud network.
Addo and his cohorts targetted around 180 victims and stole thousands of pounds at a time, often from elderly people. Addo himself help defraud some £365,000.
Victims believed they were investing in gold or broadcast airtime and told they could make huge profits by buying in. But the payments were made to bank accounts opened in the name of fake businesses, and the money was never seen again.
They ran the scam out of four so-called fraud "boiler rooms", which were set up to give their fake businesses addresses, and cold-called their victims using personal details from other criminals.
The crimes came to light after a BBC journalist open her own investigation after she was cold called by one of the fake companies, Denmore Ltd.
Detective Constable Barry Ryan, who led the investigation for the City of London Police’s Fraud Squad, said: “These unsuspecting victims lost thousands of pounds after being tricked into thinking they were making legitimate investments. It’s vital that people are aware of investment fraud and never take up offers of investments on the spot from cold calls. We have a lot of advice for the public on our website on how to avoid falling victim to this type of fraud.
"This should act as a warning to any other people who are thinking of allowing their account to be used for criminal activity in order to make some extra money – money laundering is a serious offence and one which could see you go to jail.”
Addo was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 15 months, a three months curfew order and 200 hours unpaid work. his cohorts