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New Fraud Instruction

Miles Herman has been instructed in a multi-handed fraud matter.

The client has been charged with conspiracy to defraud United Kingdom banks and/or financial institutions and/or customers, by dishonesty accessing bank accounts for the purposes of making fraudulent transfers from such accounts.

The Police Central E-Crime Unit of the Metropolitan Police is investigating the theft of over £1,000,000.00 carried out by means of unauthorised access to a personal bank account.

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A Defence Lawyer’s Perspective on Cyber Crime – by Miles Herman

It has long been the case that businesses, particularly within the banking sector, and the public at large have been under the attack from cyber criminals. Recent cases have shown the level of sophistication employed by those intent on profiting through criminal activity over the internet and online services have resulted in the Government rethinking its strategy to combat criminal activity of this nature.

As recently as November of last year, the Prime Minister stated that cyber security is a top priority for this government and within the global approach to tackling this ever increasing problem, the Government is committed to expanding the use of ‘cyber specialists’ to help police tackle cyber crime and create a Cyber Crime Unit within the National Crime Agency by 2013.

Many of those involved in the Criminal Justice System would have read with interest the comments by Richard Clarke, the Home Office Security and Counter-Terrorism Department Director, who has warned that cyber crime is now as great a threat as terrorism to the UK’s national security.

But what are the levels of success in tackling cyber criminal organizations thus far? Well, the answer to this will not be known for some time. There can be little doubt that to date the individuals operating towards the high end of cyber criminal activity have been on top. So far, there have been very few prosecutions concerning the activities of individuals that police believe are instrumental in how sustained criminal attacks are taking place online and over the internet.

One such prosecution was ‘Operation Crossbill’, which resulted in a number of defendants pleading guilty and receiving sentences ranging from two to five years. It is apparent from the nature of this investigation in which Lewis Nedas Law received instructions from two defendants (one of whom was acquitted following trial and was the only defendant to avoid custody), that prosecutions of this nature will become more frequent, more focused and will require a particular level of specialised knowledge in affording those accused of criminal activity expert representation.

Arising from this prosecution, one of the first of its type, a team of officers were tasked with investigating a group of individuals who were concerned with the control of a complex network of domains, command and control servers and associated malicious programmes directed at the promotion of fraud through the internet.

The investigation involved a complex picture of international computer-based criminality and it was claimed during the case that the individuals concerned were close to those capable of writing malicious codes.

It was apparent throughout my representation of two defendants in this matter that police believed conduct of this nature is now becoming the preferred method for international organized criminal networks. It is anticipated that cyber criminal activity of this and of a similar nature will readily be preferred by those deterred by the high risks that criminal involvement such as the importation of drugs or people trafficking pose.

The sentences handed down in this case (subject to appeal) and, it is anticipated, in future cases, tend to demonstrate that the Court propose to crack down on this type of activity and therefore those who are engaged or suspected of being engaged in criminal conduct of this nature require specialist advice from an early stage.

Lewis Nedas Law is an organization that can help those being investigated and/or charged with any criminal offences relating to the internet and online services. We have specialist knowledge of how these cases are prosecuted and are able to give concise, expert, and direct advice on all matters relating to cases of this nature.

Given the high-level stakes that are involved in cases being prosecuted to date and certainly, from now on, those under suspicion or facing charges, cannot afford to receive anything other than specialist advice.

The level of investigation and detection will only increase significantly over the coming months and years and Lewis Nedas Law, with specialist computer-based fraud experts and expert witnesses on hand to provide specialist reports and guidance, can assist any of those facing an enquiry by the police, any other investigative agency and/or prosecution through the courts.

Our organization is able to provide the required assistance from investigations until trial in addition to a strong and able team of solicitors. We employ specialist counsel on cases of this nature. Jeremy Ornstin, Senior Advocate of this practice was instructed in Operation Crossbill and was instrumental in the settling of a favourable basis plea for one of the defendants.

Please contact Miles Herman, Jeffrey Lewis.

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Cyber-Fraud Sentencing Success

Miles Herman was instructed in the case of Pavel Cyganok who was subject of police code name ‘Operation Crossbill’ concerned with a complex network of domains, command and control servers, and associated malicious programmes directed at the promotion of fraud through the internet. Following a highly complex and lengthy investigation Mr Cyganok was charged with various offences relating to the unlawful interception of computers.

A yearlong case culminated with sentences being passed at the Central Criminal Court. These sentences were imposed following lengthy negotiations between the defence and the prosecution concerning Mr Cyganok’s role in this enquiry.

Lewis Nedas are at the forefront in representing defendants facing computer-related crime, be it malicious interception of computers, or supplying software for the use or in connection with fraud. In addition they are experts at dealing with the consequential offences of conspiracy to defraud and concealing criminal property, which relate to the concealment and onward distribution of the proceeds of the fraudulent conduct relating to the interception of computers.

The case was investigated by the Special Casework Division of Crown Prosecution Service and the E-Crime Unit of the Computer Crime Team.

See the BBC News coverage here.

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