A Croydon couple who amassed up to £1.3 million in a money-laundering scheme have both been sentenced at Southwark Crown Court.
Sean Benson, 26, was found guilty of two counts of fraud and three of money-laundering and sentenced to seven years in prison.
His pregnant wife, Jennifer Hallam, 25, was found guilty of money laundering and sentenced to 18 months, suspended for two years.
Using the online alias ‘Sir King Cash’, Benson purchased the details of 2,000 stolen credit cards from Russian hackers on the internet.
Benson then used the stolen details to buy music from his own online store, Identity Music Ltd, spending thousands of pounds at a time and claiming DJs and musicians were behind the purchases.
Benson kept the stolen money in five Lloyds TSB business bank accounts. He withdrew at least £150,000 from these accounts, transferring funds to his wife who in turn paid it on to Russian hackers for further credit card details. Prosecutor James Dawes called the cyber-crime couple “extremely cunning”.
Police identified 718 victims, including a woman who lost £30,000 intended for a house deposit.
Besides credit card fraud, Benson had previously exploited a flaw in the NatWest cheque processing system using the account details of a Chinese toy seller called Ping Wu to fraudulently obtain £218,000.
The couple’s marital home in Croydon was raided by police who found several luxury items including a BMW X5 and a Mercedes Kompressor.
An extravagant £40,000 Hawaii wedding and honeymoon were also funded by the criminal scheme.
The pair were convicted of fraud and money laundering after an extensive three-year police investigation.
Met Police froze the couple’s NatWest accounts in 2011 but they were not pursued for further prosecution until now.
The Russian cybercriminal network used by ‘Sir King Cash’allegedly shares ties with the Russian Mafia.