London

Man admits £1.3m Barclays Bank computer theft

A man has admitted conspiring to steal £1.3m from Barclays Bank using high-tech gadgets.

Tony Colston-Hayter pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court, admitting conspiring to divert money to 41 separate bank accounts last April.

In his possession he admitted having 400,000 documents, including personal mail and bank details, and a 24-sim phone exchange machine to commit fraud.

Prosecutors say Colston-Hayter, 48, was one of the ring-leaders in the plot.

Colston-Hayter, of no fixed abode, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud using credit cards on or before 19 September last year.

Buying Rolexes

The gang stole card details belonging to thousands of customers and attacked Barclays and Santander branches using special devices, the court heard.

His co-defendants Darius Bolder, 34, of Chelsea, and Michael Harper, 26, of Gospel Oak, pleaded guilty to using a credit card in the name of a Mr Alfieri to buy three Rolex watches at Selfridges.

Bolder also admitted stealing credit balances from Barclays on or before 5 April last year.

Another two men, Segun Ogunfidodo, 26, and Leroy Odunusi, 24, both of White City, west London, admitted conspiring to commit fraud using credit cards.

Asad Qureshi, 35, of Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, and Dean Outram, 34, of Clifford Gardens, Kensal Rise, have previously admitted crimes linked to money stolen or laundered from Santander Bank, the court heard.

But five other men charged in connection with the plot - Lanre Mullins Abudu, 25, of Putney, Akash Vaghela, 27, of Beavers Lane, Hounslow, Duane Jean-Jaques, 24, of Belsize Road, Steven Hannah, 42, of Bell Street, Marylebone, and James Lewis Murphy, 34, of Chelsea - deny various offences including charges of fraud, theft, and possession of articles for use in fraud.

They will go on trial at Southwark Crown Court on 17 February.

Those who admitted their parts in the plot will be sentenced following that trial, Judge Alistair McCreath said.

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