North East Regional Special Operations Unit

Operation Sunstone Result

News / October 24

A number of residents from the Newcastle and Stanley areas were today sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court for Fraud and Money Laundering offences committed during 2014.

A number of residents from the Newcastle and Stanley areas were today sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court for Fraud and Money Laundering offences committed during 2014.

Olufemi AJAO -  3years 9 months imprisonment
 
Leanne BELLERBY - 3 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months with 12 months Supervision.
 
Tori AROYEHUN -  12 month Community Order with 12 months Supervision.
 
Marie THOMPSON -  12 month Community Order with 40 hours Unpaid Work.
 
Rebecca DAVIDSON -  12 month Community Order with 60 hours Unpaid Work.
 
Michelle GRANT -  12 month Community Order with  40 hours Unpaid Work.
 
Natasha ROBLEY -  4 months imprisonment, concurrent to her current sentence for Blackmail.
 

All were convicted on earlier dates of receiving the proceeds of internet and cheque frauds totalling over £100,000. The defendants used bank accounts to encash stolen and counterfeit cheques, as well as bouncing money between each other in an attempt to disguise its criminal sources.

Some also received the proceeds of a £40,000 scam played against a company in Dubai which was tricked into believing that it was paying one of its suppliers.

AJAO was also found to have a stash of cheque books at his home address when the Police searched it in January 2015. He admitted these were to be used in committing frauds in the future.

DC Steve Lambert of the North East Regional Fraud Team, which is made up of staff from Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland Police said –

“This case goes to show that allowing your bank accounts to be used to disguise the proceeds of crime can get you into a lot of trouble. If somebody asks you to pay money into your account for them you should ask yourself why?  It’s relatively easy for any legitimate person to open a bank account if they wish to, so it’s highly likely that requests of this sort will involve some sort of criminality. Also, if you receive means tested State Benefits, having lots of undeclared money in your account can breach DWP rules and lead to your benefits being stopped.”

© NERSOU 2018