Friday, July 24, 2015
Multicultural couple made £1.3million stealing bank details from 700 victims then splashed the cash on a lavish wedding and honeymoon to Hawaii
Fraud seems to be one thing multiculturalists are good at
A couple made more than £1.3million through black market trading in stolen bank details and then used it to pay for a £40,000 lavish wedding and Hawaii honeymoon.
Sean Benson, 26, who called himself 'Sir King Cash', and his wife Jennifer Hallam, 25, have been found guilty of fraud and money laundering after a three-year police investigation.
Benson was jailed for seven years and Hallam was given a 18-month sentence, suspended for two years.
Scotland Yard and the National Crime Agency launched a joint investigation in 2012 into the activities of a cyber criminal using the online nickname Sir King Cash (SKC).
SKC - aka Benson - was an active member of an online criminal forum set up, among other things, to help those wishing to trade in stolen debit or credit card data.
Benson set up an online identity - using a cartoon character he created - to buy card details from a Russian cyber criminal network. He then formed a company called Identity Music, which claimed to specialise in selling audio material to DJs, musicians and others.
In fact he used the stolen credit card details to make false purchases through his website, with the money going directly into five Lloyds TSB Bank business accounts he owned. The Met's Criminal Finance Team froze the accounts and found they contained £534,000.
Benson withdrew money from the accounts - around £100,000 - to pass to his wife. She took it to a money transfer shop where about £80,000 was sent to the Russians to pay for the stolen card details.
In total Benson made £1.3million of false purchases through his sham music business and transferred more than £1million to his Lloyds accounts.
Enquiries showed £40,000 of the stolen money had been used to fund the couple's extravagant wedding and honeymoon to Hawaii.
The investigation revealed details of more than 2,000 compromised bank accounts and uncovered 700 victims of fraud.
Benson and Hallam from Croydon, South London were arrested on 14 January 2013 and charged In March 2014.
Benson was found guilty of two counts of fraud by false representation and three counts of money laundering. Hallam was found guilty of money laundering.
Detective Constable Barry Steel who lead the investigation said 'Benson set up a sophisticated system to fraudulently obtain innocent people's bank details through Russian criminal networks and steal their money.
'Painstaking and lengthy analysis proved a link between Sir King Cash's activities in cyberspace and Benson's music activities in the real world.
'He made more than a million pounds and I have no doubt he would have continued his activities, causing frustration and misery to law-abiding bank customers by emptying their accounts for his own gain.'
Steve Brown, senior investigator at the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit, said: 'This was high-level criminality, requiring extensive work by investigators to track down the person behind the online persona and to follow the illicit money trail.
'The NCA and its partners continue to demonstrate that we can identify criminals who think they are operating anonymously online, and ensure they are brought to account.'
'It's a shock they have that much power to rip a family apart': Grandparents blocked from adopting their three-year-old granddaughter
The grandparents of a three-year-old girl have been blocked from adopting her because they are ‘too old’, it emerged last night.
They had been left in charge of the child after her mother – who has a history of mental health problems – was sectioned. But the youngster, their only grandchild, was taken away from them and handed to foster parents.
The adoption will go ahead on July 31 unless they win the right to appeal.
The grandmother, 58, and grandfather, 70, have even been told by social workers to mark the occasion with a ‘party’ and bring a cake – a suggestion they described as ‘insulting’.
If the appeal fails the only contact they will have with their granddaughter is two letters they are allowed to send each year until she is 18. Their daughter will be allowed to see photos of her once a year but cannot keep copies.
Last night the ‘emotionally traumatised’ grandmother, a shop assistant, said: ‘I don’t feel old at all. I work two days a week. It’s just awful they could take her away from us.
‘It is devastating and so silly. Women have children older and older these days anyway.’
The grandfather, a retired firefighter, described his family’s treatment as ‘wicked’ and said he was amazed it could happen ‘in a civilised society’.
‘We would be 100 per cent capable of caring for her and we would be over the moon to have her,' he said.
‘But we have been kicked in the teeth by social workers. It is shocking they have that much power to take a family apart.’
Many women older than 58 have become mothers around the world and Britain’s oldest mother, Sue Tollefsen, gave birth to her only child, Freya, in 2008 when she was 57.
The girl at the centre of the adoption wrangle, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was born to the couple’s daughter, who is now in her 30s and is no longer in a relationship with the girl’s father. The child’s mother was sectioned in January after self-harming.
One week later, a social worker appeared at the grandparents’ home in Shoeburyness, Essex, demanding they hand the child over. They did not see her again until March and even then were allowed to see her only once a week.
The grandfather said: ‘A social worker came round saying she’d come to pick up her clothes because they were taking her into foster care.
'We didn’t know what was going on but they’d applied for a court order with a view to adoption.’
The social worker showed them a form which they have since learned the mother had been persuaded to sign from her specialist mental health hospital bed – with no legal representative present – consenting to her daughter being taken into care.
At Chelmsford family court on June 17, a judge ruled adoption should go ahead but the grandparents could not be candidates.
They attended court but were unable to argue their case as they could not afford legal representation.
Grandparents are not entitled to legal aid in care cases. The assessment claiming they are not suitable to care for the toddler is not available to the public.
But the Daily Mail understands it claimed the couple would be incapable of acting as her guardians when she reached adolescence.
It initially gave their ages incorrectly. The error was corrected but the judge said they were too old as the grandfather would be 82 and the grandmother 70 when the girl turned 15.
The couple said they were also accused of not caring for their own daughter properly, a claim never previously made.
A lawyer who has now taken up their case pro bono yesterday expressed concern that social workers at Southend Council were pursuing adoption targets that generate income.
Karina Chetwynd, of John Copland and Son solicitors, said: ‘In my view, adoption is a cash cow. There is a lot of money paid for each adoption and each local authority has targets.’
Miss Chetwynd is hoping to be granted the right to appeal by arguing that the grandparents’ human rights were breached and they are entitled to a fair hearing and to a family life.
Anne Jones, the Southend councillor responsible for child welfare, said: ‘Age is not the deciding factor in our assessments. We have a duty to ensure the safety and well-being of the children.
'Though placing children in the care of relatives is our preference in all cases, we can only do so when this is consistent with the welfare of a child.’
For Being 30 Feet Away From Children, Texas Woman Arrested
If Laura Browder committed a crime, it’s the modern equivalent of locking someone away for stealing a piece of bread. The Texas Woman was arrested on child abandonment charges after she left her children in a Houston-area mall while she went to a job interview — except she was less than 30 feet from her children and kept them in sight.
Browder recently moved to the area with her six-year-old daughter and two-year-old son and she couldn’t find childcare for the two when a short-notice job interview cropped up. Her solution? She took her children to the food court where she and the interviewer agreed to meet, fed the children and sat with them until the interviewer showed up.
Then, she went off a ways, keeping the kids in sight, to do what seems to have been a good interview — she got the job. But when she returned to her children, a police officer arrested her.
Despite the judge releasing Browder’s children into her care, Child Protective Services is investigating. And the job that was supposed to provide for her children is in jeopardy because of the government’s meddling.
When child abandonment crops up, most people would think about mothers who leave babies in dumpsters or fathers who drop children off with grandparents with no plans of ever returning. This incident in Texas is another case of a helicopter government’s trying to increase its control of parenting.
UK: Press freedom: Keir Starmer faces his critics
While he was a bureaucrat, Leftist Keir Starmer exercised his powers ruthlessly to attack freedom of the press. Now that he has at long last gone openly into politics, he is trying to appear more moderate. Below we read what happened when the former DPP met angry "Sun" journalists. The "Sun" was a major focus of his attacks
Former director of public prosecutions Sir Keir Starmer was pilloried by spurned journos, for the part he played in the post-phone-hacking crackdown on the press, at a debate held by the London Press Club last night.
The newly elected Labour MP entered the lion’s den, confronted by Sun journalists and free-speech advocates, hours after he made what seemed to be a spectacular political u-turn over press freedom, calling for there to be a ‘public-interest defence’ for journalists in law.
The debate asked panel members, ‘800 years after Magna Carta, do we have a free press?’, sparking penetrating exchanges between some of the most senior names in the fight for (and against) press freedom. Particular criticism was dealt to Starmer, who served as DPP during Operation Elveden, an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing among News International journalists.
Starmer’s lukewarm assertion that ‘it’s time for change’ on the law’s approach to press freedom drew groans from the audience. It seems either his new position as an MP or the collapse of the expensive four-year investigation has prompted this arse-covering exercise.
His views have evolved somewhat from the early days of the press witch-hunts, where Starmer’s guidelines meant reporters were given archaic ‘aiding and abetting’ and ‘conspiracy’ charges for their actions – a move that explicitly prevented them from making public-interest pleas.
However, when asked about how we should define the public interest, the rest of panel – which included the Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh, YouGov president Peter Kellner and Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg – agreed it was an almost impossible task. Even Starmer admitted that ‘it’s so hard to define’. So, the ex-DPP has given himself the tricky job of defining the indefinable in law; clearly his sudden support for a free press is even hollower than it first seemed.
What’s more, as Kavanagh pointed out, a public-interest defence would, in fact, cement a state-led definition of public interest in law that would only harm a journalist in the docks. ‘Once you regulate and legislate public interest, it acts against the notion of public interest’, he said, before going on to accuse Starmer of being involved in a ‘political vendetta’ against the Murdoch press.
Such was Starmer’s trepidation that he allegedly confided to someone in the lift after the debate that he had had second thoughts about even attending. Nevertheless, he was confronted with reasonable debate and given a platform to explain his newfound support for the press’s struggle. The audience was far from the baying mob, even if it was full of spurned Sun journos.
At another point in the discussion, eyes rolled again as Index on Censorship’s Jodie Ginsberg’s attempted to dodge the question at hand entirely by indicating that the British press was relatively free, compared with that of Azerbaijan and Honduras. However, her contribution was saved somewhat when she denounced society’s self-censorship, suggesting British culture shouldn’t fear being offensive. This prompted Kavanagh to recommend Mick Hume’s new book on free speech, Trigger Warning, saying it offered excellent insights on this issue.
As the discussion on press freedom rumbles on, Starmer is tipped for great things in Labour’s shadow cabinet. We can only hope the Keir pressure he faced yesterday continues.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.