Tejay Fletcher, the mastermind behind an online fraud shop used to con victims out of more than £100 million has been jailed for more than 13 years in the UK.
The 35-year-old bought a £230,000 Lamborghini, two Range Rovers worth £110,000, and an £11,000 Rolex after making around £2 million from the iSpoof.cc website.
He was the founder and leading administrator of the site, which was brought down last year in the UK’s biggest fraud sting.
Southwark Crown Court heard that victims across the world were defrauded of at least £100 million, including a minimum of £43 million from people in the UK.
The site offered scammers the tools to disguise phone calls to appear to be from a trusted organization such as a bank, so they could empty their targets’ accounts.
The website earned around £3.2 million in cryptocurrency Bitcoin, with the ‘lion’s share’ of around £2 million ending up with Fletcher, said prosecutor John Ojakovoh.
Users of the website paid hundreds of thousands of pounds a month for its features, which were marketed on a channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram called ‘iSpoof club’.
Fletcher last month pleaded guilty to four charges, including making or supplying an article for use in fraud, encouraging or assisting the commission of an offense, possession of the criminal property, and transferring criminal property, between November 30, 2020, and November 8, 2022.
Judge Sally Cahill KC jailed him for a total of 13 years and four months on Friday, telling Fletcher: ‘For all the victims it was a harrowing experience.’
Fletcher heard he rented an east London apartment, which boasts views of the Royal Victoria Dock and the City skyline, and owned a £230,000 Lamborghini.
Fletcher also spent £120,000 on two Range Rovers for him and his girlfriend, while police found a money counter, jewellery, and an £11,000 Rolex in his home.
According to the Met Police, iSpoof was launched in December 2020 and had 59,000 active users at its peak.
One of the site’s most purchased bits of technology allowed fraudsters to make phone posing as fraud department employees to lower the guard of unsuspecting recipients.
The spoof calls, along with other features offered through the site to obtain passwords and PIN codes, were all used to empty the victims’ bank accounts.
Mr. Ojakovoh said a ‘particularly dastardly exploitation of people’s busy lives’ was a tool allowing users to trick victims into entering new card details by claiming the information held by a trusted organization was out of date.
One of the platform’s victims lost £3 million, while the 4,785 people who reported being targeted to Action Fraud lost an average of £10,000, police said.
Judge Sally Cahill KC said victims suffered damage to their businesses, personal financial problems, sleeplessness, depression, emotional stress, and fallouts with family members.
She told Fletcher, who has 18 previous convictions for 36 offenses, he ‘didn’t care’ about them, adding: ‘The late expression of remorse is regret for being caught rather than empathy for your victims.’
Simon Baker KC, defending, had told the judge his client had no idea of the scale of the eventual fraud when he set up the website.
But she told Fletcher: ‘As is the case with any successful business you probably didn’t realise how successful and profitable your enterprise would be.’