A man who used Facebook to sell items in Milton Keynes has been handed a 12-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to a number of fraud offences.
Jack Belton, 19, of Penzance Avenue, Wigston, pleaded guilty to failing to supply goods, false representation, possession of articles for use in fraud, fraud and acquiring criminal property.
His 12-month sentence is suspended for two years, and he also received a two-year supervision order at Leicester Crown Court on Friday, December 5.
Police received a report in May 2013 from a person who had been misled during an online transaction and had lost some money.
Enquiries identified that Belton had sold items using social media and the goods had originally been purchased using a number of compromised credit cards, details of which were obtained via the internet.
A warrant was executed at Belton’s home and a USB magnetic card reader and 100 blank white cards with magnetic strips were recovered from the property.
During the investigation Thames Valley Police contacted Leicestershire Police after they received information that a man claiming to be Malik Gold was using a Facebook page used for selling items in Milton Keynes.
Information suggested that Gold was selling counterfeit money, cloned credit cards and fake bank transfers for sale for a fraction of what they worth.
Following a joint investigation by the two forces Belton was identified as being responsible for these offences.
PC Steven Hobby said: “This has been a protracted and complex investigation, including contacting victims based overseas in the USA and Ireland, and has involved more than a year’s work.
“Due to the nature of the offence the investigation has involved specialist officers from various departments within Leicestershire and Thames Valley Police as well as contacting a variety of retailers and banking establishments.
“I would like to pass on my thanks to everyone involved in the investigation, particularly PC Andy Robinson from Thames Valley and DC Cathy Richards from Leicestershire.
“Although cyber-crime can be seen as a victimless crime, as was the case with Belton who didn’t see the credit card companies as victims but as faceless conglomerates, the police do take these reports seriously and will take a firm stance when dealing with these complex investigations.”