Portsmouth fraudsters who made £350,000 ordering Rolex and Breitling watches with stolen identities must pay back £271

FRAUDSTERS who made up to £350,000 by ordering luxury goods using BT customers’ stolen identities have been ordered to pay back £271.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 7:00 am

Both Festus Emosivwe, who made £348,858, and Charles Onwu who made £97,211, ran an elaborate fraud scheme for which they were jailed.

Despite only being told to pay back small amounts - because that’s all they have to their names - if they ever come into more money then the court can seize more cash.

IT graduate Emosivwe led a gang ordering items including Breitling and Rolex watches, TVs and clothes nearly every day for two years.

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Festus Emosivwe and Charles Onwu were ordered to pay back cash from their fraud. Picture: Hampshire police

He used stolen credit card details and with access to 2,000 identities from duped BT customers was able to purchase goods and divert them to gang members’ homes.

Accomplice Onwu took in £129,000 worth of deliveries. He must pay £1 back or face an extra seven days in jail.

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Portsmouth fraud gang jailed after buying luxury goods using stolen identities o...

Emosivwe, the ringleader, must pay back £270 or serve an extra 14 days. Six others were involved and all were sentenced last year.

Victim Geoffrey Noble, pictured with his wife Caroline at Portsmouth Crown Court in 2020, when they watched a gang of eight people being sentenced for a 'sophisticated' fraud involving using more than 2,000 identities of BT customers. Picture: Ben Fishwick

Victims Geoffrey Noble and his wife Caroline previously watched as the gang were jailed.

Financial investigator Detective Constable Amy Speed, from Hampshire police, said: ‘The seizure of criminal assets is something we can pursue when we can see that people convicted of offences have hugely benefited from their illegal activity.

‘We don’t just stop at trying to secure jail terms for these kind of crimes.’

DC Speed said the overall benefit figure - allowing the courts to seize more cash in the future - ;will hang over their heads for the rest of their lives or until it’s paid’.

She added: ‘What this means is that should either one of them accrue money or assets in the future, either lawfully or otherwise, the Proceeds of Crime Act allows the police to reassess the defendants’ available assets and make an application to strip them of these assets.

‘We hope this shows that Hampshire Constabulary won’t just accept prison terms for those who think they can line their pockets with illegal income – they will eventually have to pay it back.’

Emosivwe, 38, of Newcome Road in Stamshaw was jailed for three years, eight months after admitting conspiracy to commit fraud.

Onwu, 32, of Wells Close, Milton, admitted the same charge and was sentenced to three years, seven months.

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