Exchange Chambers barristers act in international cyber-fraud case

July 7, 2014

Barristers from Exchange Chambers have acted for the defendants in an international cyber-fraud plot.

Gabriel Edwards, 24, who played for Wigan Athletic’s second team, joined a conspiracy targeting bank users from ‘Minnesota to New South Wales’, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Stolen details were used to gain access to accounts online and by phone before money was stolen by electronic transfer. Victims included 158 Visa customers, 74 Halifax customers and eleven Bank of Scotland customers, with successful and attempted transactions totalling £175,000. With access to thousands of bank users personal details, the plot, which ran between August 2010 and February 2012, had the capacity to claim many more victims before being unravelled.

Michael Lavery from Exchange Chambers, defending, said of Edwards: “After a serious knee injury he lost a year of his career and his contract. In that low point in his life, he perhaps became influenced by others.”

The suspicious transfer of £47,365 from a Halifax customer in November 2011 sparked an investigation which followed a trail of evidence back to a flat at Rose Court, Salford where Gabriel Edwards and organiser William Baidoo were arrested, and incriminating laptops were found.

Imran Shafi from Exchange Chambers acted for Baidoo, 32. He was sentenced to 40 months after admitting conspiracy to steal, concealing criminal property, handling, and possessing articles for use in fraud.

Baidoo’s fellow ringleader, Mudasir Adesina 27, and his wife Laila Adesina, 22, were traced to their home at Alexandra Road, Whalley Range, by their internet provider address. Mudasir Adesina denied conspiracy to steal and concealing criminal property at trial, but was found guilty and has been jailed for three-and-a-half years. Laila, who admitted the same charges has been sentenced to 16 months jail, suspended for two years, plus 250 hours unpaid work and a specified activity requirement.