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Subject: Men guilty of £229m banking plot

Written By: Philip Eno on 03/05/09 at 2:24 am

Full report on BBC News Online

Two men who plotted to steal £229m from a bank using software have been found guilty for their roles in the scam.

"Lord" Hugh Rodley, of Gloucestershire, who bought his title, was convicted of conspiracy charges dating back to 2004.

Gang members had installed spyware on computers at the London offices of Sumitomo Mitsui bank in order to steal money from big business accounts.

Soho sex shop owner David Nash, 47, from Durrington, West Sussex, was also convicted at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

He had been used by Rodley to front accounts into which the funds would have been channelled, the trial heard.

Rodley, who lived in a Tudor mansion in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, teamed up with a gang of internet thieves to target the Japanese bank.

The "bold and sophisticated" plot was only foiled at the 11th hour by the complexities of inter-bank money transfers, the court heard.

Bank security supervisor Kevin O'Donoghue, 34, unlocked the Japanese bank's London offices so the gang could make "surreptitious" visits at night, the jury was told. 

He also tampered with CCTV equipment in a bid to avoid the presence of two men - Belgian computer expert Jan Van Osselaer, 32, and his "recruiter", Frenchman Gilles Poelvoorde, 35 - being caught on camera.

The duo then used software to corrupt the bank's computer system, record the keystrokes of staff and reveal user names and passwords, jurors were told.

That gave them access to the holdings of major companies like Toshiba International, Nomura Asset Management and Sumitomo Chemical UK.

They made several attempts to electronically transfer up to £12.5m at a time around the world, but were unsuccessful because of "field logging errors".

The plot was discovered when staff returned to work after the weekend and realised their computers were not working properly.

Then they found a number of network cables had been "taken out".

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