An audacious fraudster who tricked British and US banking and car manufacturing companies out of more than £1.2 million and $900,000 has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court.
28 year old Neil Moore comes from Trinidad and Tobago and the court heard he has no permanent address yet has lived the life of of the Great Gatsby.
He switched multiple aliases and identities- even to the extent of masking his gender by imitating a female voice to carry out numerous frauds.
He used a method known as ‘social engineering’, whereby he called the target company claiming to be a member of the banking sector – usually from their online services or a fraud investigation departments – and gained their trust.
He exploited this trust to obtain customer banking details and used these to make unauthorised transfers from the legitimate company accounts to his own bank accounts.
These funds were then transferred onwards before the bank could identify the fraud.
While on remand for the frauds at Wandsworth prison, Moore planned and organised his own release from prison over the internet.
He used a smartphone he had illegally obtained in prison to create a fraudulent website, and he sent a fraudulent conditional bail notice purporting to be from Southwark Crown Court to HMP Wandsworth.
He was able to simply walk out of the prison on 10th March this year though returned four days later.
Investigations, with the help of Homeland Security in the US, revealed Moore set up the website using the name of the officer who was investigating him, Detective Inspector Chris Soole.
Detective Inspector Chris Soole said:
Neil Moore’s whole life revolved around fraud and he lived his life using numerous aliases and telling many lies. The investigation was complex in no small part due to the numerous identities Moore maintained.
I would like to praise our partners in the US and Trinidad and Tobago for their prompt assistance, which ultimately helped us put Moore before the courts.
The judge, Recorder David Hunt QC said his escape plan from Wandsworth Prison was ‘sophisticated and ingenious.’
He said to Moore:
The way you contrived your escape was potentially more of a threat to the integrity of the prison system, and therefore to the public, than the mere use of brute force. And in my judgment there is an obvious need to deter others from trying to procure their escape through the same or similar means.