Kelvin Okusanya who cheated on £ 3million payday lender jailed for six years
Kelvin Okusanya was jailed for organizing £ 3million scam in Wonga
The mastermind behind a £ 3million Wonga scam that used the identities of thousands of innocent members of the public to withdraw money has been jailed for six years.
Kelvin Okusanya, 32, was part of a gang that exploited the company’s website algorithms to make over 19,000 loan applications from April 2012 to June 2013 using the same “Bengali90” password .
The money was then laundered from hundreds of bank accounts by fraudsters while unsuspecting victims had to pay interest of 1% per day.
Okusanya was convicted of fraud after the Old Bailey learned that he had personally made 82 bogus claims involving 30 victims.
The judge, Mr. Recorder Sells QC, said: “The names and details of totally innocent members of the public have been used to make fraudulent loan applications on a large scale.
“Some were even contacted by Wonga for loans they had not requested and of which they knew nothing.
“Such breaches are corrosive to the confidence people have in the financial services industry. They are more and more widespread, they are easy to commit and difficult to detect.
The judge told Okusanya: “You were described during the trial as the mastermind and one of the minds controlling all of this fraud.
“I am convinced that you were a leading member of a criminal enterprise which intended to obtain several million pounds. “
Eight others were found guilty of laundering the proceeds of cash in bank accounts under their control.
Prosecutor Richard Hearnden told the court: “Criminals have raised more than £ 3million by targeting one of Britain’s most controversial institutions, payday lender Wonga.
“Wonga has paid off thousands of payday loans. Each of these loans was only a few hundred pounds, but added together these loans amounted to millions.
“The fraud took place by stealing the names, dates of birth, addresses, email addresses, cell phone numbers and debit card numbers of literally thousands of ordinary members of the public.
“The fraudsters who operated this scam probably bought ready-made lists of potential victims and their personal financial details. It is not known how precisely this data was secured.
Sophia Pusey-Carroll, 46, pictured left, was jailed for 21 months, while Monika Solarz, 28, pictured right, was jailed for 18 months.
The trial focused on 30 victims, but it was “the smallest tip of a very substantial iceberg” according to Hearnden.
The requests were made online by entering the names, addresses and dates of birth as well as the debit card number used to make the refunds and the details of the account receiving the money.
Wonga uses an algorithm to determine if the information provided is correct and if the account number matches the name and other details of the person requesting the loan.
Mr Hearnden said: “It would appear that this algorithm has failed.
“The result has been that up to 19,000 fraudulent claims have been processed and paid successfully.
“The money went into bank accounts that had nothing to do with the people named in the loan application.
“Some of the repayments were actually made fraudulently in Wonga – in other words, innocent people repaid loans they didn’t ask for.”
Mr Hearnden said 19,013 fraudulent apps could be identified by the same “criminal group” because they used the same password.
“This Bengali90 password had slipped in the algorithms which had not noticed the crime,” added the prosecutor.
Okusanya, of Lockhart Avenue, Milton Keynes, denied but was convicted of three counts of false statement fraud.
Olu Fasoranti, 32, left, was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the scam, orchestrated by Kelvin Okusanya, which was sentenced to six years in prison.
Police staff investigator Andy Cope, City of London Police, said: ‘This group of money mules allegedly worked in partnership with the people making the fraudulent loan applications, taking millions together. of Wonga books and committing identity crime at an industrial site. level.
“Being a money mule might seem like a relatively harmless offense, but law enforcement sees it very differently. We are committed to stopping those middlemen who allow fraud and other crimes. ‘
Olu Fasoranti, 32, was jailed for three years, Sophia Pusey-Carroll, 46, was jailed for 21 months and Monika Solarz, 28, was jailed for 18 months.
Omotola Wellington, 31, received a two-year suspended prison sentence for two years, Maureen Ako, 35, received a 15-month suspended prison sentence for two years and 200 hours of unpaid work, and Sherene Bascoe, 21, was sentenced to nine months suspended for two years and 140 hours of unpaid work.
Michelle Deola, 23, received a community order with 100 hours of unpaid labor, and Kerone Clayton, 42, and Clement Bankole, 38, received a community order with 40 hours of unpaid labor.
Wellington, from Burnden Close, Brentford, west London, Fasoranti, from The Hollands, Feltham, west London, Pusey-Carroll, from Byron Court, Byron Road, Harrow, north west London, Ako, from Snipe Close, Erith, South East London, Bascoe, from Marlow Court, Pinner Road, Harrow.
Deola, of Langdale Avenue, Hayes, west London, Clayton, of Barnwood Road, Birmingham, and Bankole, of Walmer Terrace, Plumstead, south-east London, all denied but were convicted of having entered into an agreement facilitating the acquisition of criminal property.
Solarz, of Audley Road, Hendon, pleaded guilty to entering into a deal facilitating the acquisition of criminal property.