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Fraudster pleads guilty to £450,000 Australian bank fraud

Yesterday, (26 April 2017), James Molloy of Eaglehurst Road, Liverpool was sentenced to two years and eight months imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court after pleading guilty to nine charges of converting criminal property.

The case was referred to the City of London Police’s Money Laundering and Investigation Unit (MLIU) by the Australian Federal Police, after over $700,000 (AUS) was removed from an Australian business account through a malware infection and transferred into a private bank account belonging to Molloy.

The money was used to fund Molloy’s luxurious lifestyle, spending money on expensive cars and jewellery in Surrey and west London.

In July 2016, Molloy opened a National Australian Bank (NAB) personal bank account using his British passport and UK driving license as forms of identification.

In October 2016, NAB were alerted to a malware infection, in which $711,757.20 had been debited from Australian business account, UXC Connect Pay Limited, and credited to the personal account opened by Malloy.

Between 7 and 9 October 2016, the money was spent on high value items in and around London and Surrey and the account was emptied of all funds. He attempted to buy the following items, however after being contacted by NAB, the retailers did not release them:

• a Mercedes E220D AMG for £43,250
• an Audi Q5 for £36,974
• a BMW 440i M Sport for £34,550

He attempted to buy the following items, however after being contacted by NAB, the retailers did not release them and the funds were returned to NAB:

• a Porsche Cayenne for £102,000
• a Volkswagen Golf GTI for £33,900

The following items were bought by Molloy:

• a number of Rolex watches
• a diamond engagement ring for £37,900
• a number of items in department store Harrods, including two Chanel handbags priced at £4,380 and £3780 and ‘Billionaire’ clothing to the value of £5385.

CCTV has been seized from Porsche, Harrods, Watch Gallery, De Beers, and Prestons which clearly shows Molloy being present throughout these transactions.

On 27 October 2016, a warrant was carried out by City of London Police officers in St Albans, where one of the Chanel handbags purchased in Harrods and £26,000 in cash were seized.

Three people; a female aged 27, and a male aged 26, from Hertfordshire and a male from Surrey, have been arrested in relation to these offences and the investigation is ongoing.

Attempts were also made to arrest Malloy at his partner’s address in Liverpool on the same day. He was spoken to on the phone but refused to hand himself in.

A mobile phone seized during the investigation was found to contain communication from Molloy, linking him to the use of the NAB bank card. There was also a screenshot of transactions made using the card as well as photographs of the Rolex watches that had been purchased.

Molloy was arrested on 24 March 2017 at the passport office in Liverpool, where he was in the process of applying for a passport in another name.

Speaking of the case, Detective Inspector John Ellis, said: “Motivated by money and greed, Molloy’s foolish actions have been exposed by the City of London Police and we hope today’s sentencing serves as a warning to others.

“I would like to thank the Australian Federal Police for their co-operation and involvement in the case.

“The City of London Police is committed to putting a stop to money laundering and recovering the proceeds of crime. This case highlights the point that justice will be served to those who commit crime.”

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