They used stolen credit card numbers to buy £750,000 worth of iTunes vouchers and then tried to sell them at reduced prices on eBay. They were caught when some of their laptops were seized in 2007, revealing over 7,000 stolen credit card numbers. eBay worked closely with the police to bring them to justice.
The men were Suhail Tufail, Mohammed Arfan Rasool, Imran Aslam, Raja Zahid Iqbal, and Kibriya Ahmad, ranging in age from 21 to 26. They all pleaded guilty to various counts of fraud and money laundering. Tufail, as the ringleader, got five years, while the others got sentences ranging from between six months to two years and five months.
Three other men were given community orders for a lesser part in the scam.
Detective Inspector Neal Colburn of Greater Manchester Police said: “This was a complex fraud on a large scale. The group thought they had a sophisticated scam to launder money, but the pro-active intervention of the police got in their way.”
Tufail was probably doomed to fail from the start.