Man allowed Leeds gang to use his bank account to buy cryptocurrency after firm was tricked out of £22,000 in fake e-mail scam

A Leeds man allowed criminals to use his bank account to buy cryptocurrency after they defrauded a business of £22,000 in a fake e-mail scam.
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Meizan Aka was arrested after police launched an investigation in 2019 when a construction firm was duped into sending money into his account.

Leeds Crown Court heard the firm received an e-mail purporting to be from a sub-contractor they worked with on a regular basis.

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The message claimed the sub-contractor had not been paid for work they had done and requested the payment of invoices.

Leeds Crown CourtLeeds Crown Court
Leeds Crown Court

The company then paid the sum of £22,250 into a bank account number in the e-mail

The sub-contractor later contacted the company to say they had not made any request for funds.

A police investigation was launched and Aka was arrested after it was revealed he had used his provisional driving licence and a Yorkshire Water bill to set up the Lloyds Bank account.

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Further investigation revealed £12,000 had then been transferred out of the account to a trading company in order to purchase cryptocurrency.

Attempts had been made to use the account to purchase more than £5,000 worth of foreign currency from Ramsdens, Debenhams and TUI shop in Leeds.

Aka's account was then completely emptied through withdrawals from cash machines and making Netflix payments.

Aka, of Trentham Grove, Beeston, was arrested and refused to comment when interviewed by police.

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He pleaded guilty to a charge of transferring criminal property.

Shufquat Khan, mitigating, said Aka has no previous convictions and works in a food factory.

The barrister said Aka had been paid by more sophisticated criminals to allow them to use his bank account as they wished.

Mr Khan said: "The defendant in those circumstances may better be described as someone performing a limited function under direction or with limited awareness or understanding of their criminality."

The Judge, Recorder Bryan Cox AC, gave Aka an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and pay court costs.