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United Kingdom Cellphones Crime

Prison Inmate Emails His Own Release Instructions To the Prison 198

Bruce66423 writes: A fraudster used a mobile phone while inside a UK prison to email the prison a notice for him to be released. The prison staff then released him. The domain was registered in the name of the police officer investigating him, and its address was the court building. The inmate was in prison for fraud — he was originally convicted after calling several banks and getting them to send him upwards of £1.8 million.
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Prison Inmate Emails His Own Release Instructions To the Prison

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  • by smittyoneeach ( 243267 ) * on Saturday March 28, 2015 @09:33AM (#49360935) Homepage Journal
    Amiright?
  • by americanpossum ( 3911019 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @09:34AM (#49360937)
    Sounds like this guy is more clever than most of the constables and prison officials in the article. Perhaps MI5 should hire him for penetration testing instead of putting him in jail!
  • He's good. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    He won his freedoms and deserves them. Not to mention that defrauding banksters isn't the crime it is made out to be. Godspeed to the guy, let's hope he gets to spend his hard-stolen $1.8mil.

    • Re:He's good. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by GoddersUK ( 1262110 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @09:43AM (#49360969)

      Not to mention that defrauding banksters isn't the crime it is made out to be

      Actually, even if you've managed to delude yourself into thinking that it's OK to steal from people you don't like, defrauding bankers hurts us all here. Here's why: 1) It costs the bank's customers through higher credit interest and lower debit interested 2) If the bank fails customers are likely to lose out (although most individual customers will have their deposits guaranteed by the state) 3) The state guarantees deposits of individual customers (up to a certain limit) so, if the state has to bail out those customers, we all pay.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        a) he's not stealing from people, but from criminal organizations; b) you people with bank accounts are only hurt because you allowed the banksters to latch themselves onto you in ways that hurt you whether they win or lose, so it is your fail, not his.
        • You are wrong (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Some people who run banks have committed crimes and gotten away with them. That does not make banks "criminal organizations," equivalent to drug mafias. Also, stealing from a bank has harmful consequences to plenty of innocent people which stealing from a drug cartel does not.

          Your rationalization of "well if you get hurt when I steal from them that is your fault and I am innocent" only applies to actual criminal organizations, not to ones that you have personally decided to label "criminal" even though th

          • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            On the contrary, it is the bank institutions that are the problem, not the individuals that work for them.

            Why is a mobster a mobster? Because she believes she is above and beyond the law, by using either violence or criminally obtained money as a lever of influence. How is a bankster like a mobster? Well, she uses other people's money as a lever of influence.

            How is a bankster worse than a mobster? Well, she has managed to manipulate the system on such a broad scale, that her usage of other people's money

            • No (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              A mobster is not a mobster for believing she is above the law. A mobster is a mobster for running a mob, which is an organization that breaks the law (and uses violence) as a routine part of their business. Banks do not do this...their routine business is perfectly legal. Therefore banks are not mobs, and those who run banks are not mobsters.

              One who believes one's self to be above the law, but still acts within the law's boundaries, is neither a mobster nor a criminal.
              One who does break the law is a crim

            • Keep telling me how this is highly moral and peachy ;)

              Well, moral I don't know about, but it seems just peachy for the bankers, doesn't it?

            • Why is a mobster a mobster? Because she believes she is above and beyond the law...

              Dude, not all mobsters are female. Use "he" or (cringe) "they".

          • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28, 2015 @10:32AM (#49361113)
            Its the 99% of bad banks that give the other 1% a bad reputation.
          • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

            by Grishnakh ( 216268 )

            That does not make banks "criminal organizations," equivalent to drug mafias.

            Complete bullshit; this is a lie.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

            HSBC has been laundering money for drug cartels for quite a while now, and nothing's been done about it, and no one is prosecuting them. Money laundering IS a crime, so this by definition makes this bank a criminal organization.

            You are a liar.

          • how is convincing banks to send u money stealing the bank managers should go to prison for being as thick as clotted cream, that's been left out by some clot, and now the clots are so clotted, you couldn't unclot them with an electric de-clotter,
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Not to mention that defrauding banksters isn't the crime it is made out to be

        Actually, even if you've managed to delude yourself into thinking that it's OK to steal from people you don't like, defrauding bankers hurts us all here. Here's why: 1) It costs the bank's customers through higher credit interest and lower debit interested 2) If the bank fails customers are likely to lose out (although most individual customers will have their deposits guaranteed by the state) 3) The state guarantees deposits of individual customers (up to a certain limit) so, if the state has to bail out those customers, we all pay.

        banks don't fail over $1.8m if they weren't going to fail already.

        The banks can't just raise rates to make up for it, either, then customers will go elsewhere. If anything this just encourages banks to operate with more efficiency.

        • Re:He's good. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Shimbo ( 100005 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @10:13AM (#49361063)

          This thread is all kind of moot, since the victims weren't banks anyway. He defrauded companies by claiming to from a bank.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Well, that's what happens when you trust banksters. The bad karma gets you even if they don't.

      • by dala1 ( 1842368 )

        The banks have insurance for this.

      • Not to mention that defrauding banksters isn't the crime it is made out to be

        Actually, even if you've managed to delude yourself into thinking that it's OK to steal from people you don't like, defrauding bankers hurts us all here.

        And that's ontop of the hurt from the bankers defrauding us all already. Fuck the banks. Their whole model is based on other peoples money. They use your money to make their money, don't share profits and pass losses onto you. Fuck the bankers, fuck them all.

    • Re:He's good. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Bomarc ( 306716 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @10:40AM (#49361139) Homepage

      "he was originally convicted after calling several banks and getting them to send him upwards of £1.8 million."

      I want to know what you say to a bank to get them to release that kind (quantity) of money!

      • stuff like "hi, my name's romney." or "hi, my name is bush." or any other super rich person.

        they really are different from the rest of us little people.

        • Interesting that you'd pick those names. A quick google for wealth of US Presidents (adjusted for inflation), puts Bush at 15 (the elder) or 17 (the younger).

          And this is as opposed to, say, John Kennedy (1), Lyndon Johnson (7), FDR (9), Clinton (10), who all have that peculiar D after their name.

          And note that Obama is #21. Hardly poor by any definition of the term....

          Note that I ignored the rest of the top 10 because they served far enough back that the Party they were part of had no real similarities

          • (once upon a time, the Republicans were the anti-slavery Party, not the Democrats, for instance)

            Both major parties in the US are anti-slavery today, as well as most minor parties.

  • That man should be in politics.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28, 2015 @09:45AM (#49360979)

    With balls like this, he is probably unable to walk...

  • He watched Idiocracy (Score:5, Informative)

    by nitehawk214 ( 222219 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @09:50AM (#49360991)

    "Hey, guys, let this dumbass out!"

    Every day it seems more like a documentary. At least this time it wasn't Americans being the complete idiots.

    • You only know because they caught the man; in the USA the guy would still be free and nobody would be the wiser.

      If somebody noticed anything fishy the usual lazy excuse of "It's not my job" would prevent actions from being taken; unless, you can be fired or sued few people here lift a finger.... and if you do take selfless initiative you are equally at risk of being fired or sued.

      • "You only know because they caught the man;"

        It came out because his lawyers came to see him unannounced.
        Perhaps he would have been back from his 'mission' undetected otherwise, with a similar trick.

  • It happens... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JonWan ( 456212 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @09:54AM (#49361005)

    The place I worked as a guard had this happen. We held inmates from a bunch of counties in several states. One of the PDs fax machine broke and they would go across the street to Kinkos and fax release orders on their letterhead. After a while they would just use paper without the letterhead. An inmates wife simply faxed an improvised release form and we sent her husband home. He got cought when he arrived because the PD had no release on file. Everything changed after that, a phone call was required with proper ID.

    • Re:It happens... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TWX ( 665546 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @10:25AM (#49361091)
      I had to go through jury selection a few months back for a capital case, going through three or four rounds of appearances and interviews. Part of what struck me about the experience is how incredibly poor the paperwork was. They gave us number cards when there were 250+ people to go through in my group, they were all handwritten even though the numbers corresponded with the computer-generated numbers we were assigned when the original mailing for service was sent. Forms and questionnaires looked like they were generated in Clarisworks by first-time users in elementary school. Nothing had letterhead, nothing had any sort of official feel.

      Your story about no letterhead and using fax machines is totally believable to me, and I'm amazed that it isn't abused more often.
      • Ya, because letterhead if a foolproof security measure.
      • I had to go through jury selection a few months back for a capital case, going through three or four rounds of appearances and interviews. Part of what struck me about the experience is how incredibly poor the paperwork was. They gave us number cards when there were 250+ people to go through in my group, they were all handwritten even though the numbers corresponded with the computer-generated numbers we were assigned when the original mailing for service was sent. Forms and questionnaires looked like they were generated in Clarisworks by first-time users in elementary school. Nothing had letterhead, nothing had any sort of official feel.

        Your story about no letterhead and using fax machines is totally believable to me, and I'm amazed that it isn't abused more often.

        Courts have no money for electronic upgrades, and when they have the money they have to fight a bureaucracy to get them. Seattle is still using DOS-based systems.

      • by RyoShin ( 610051 )

        I have a history of depression, and there's a common survey that medical offices use to get a rough feel for a person's depression and/or anxiety level. In fact, it is so common that in the four states I have filled out the survey, I'm pretty sure that every single one was a generational photocopy of the same document. In many cases it has a slight "right" lean and offset that is recognizable; in others there's a "blur" along the left side, as though it was copied with a stack of papers on top of it or from

  • How could he even do that?
    • Easy, he used a British accent. We always believe anything someone says if they have a British accent. The hard part was getting that accent into the email.

      • by dave420 ( 699308 )
        That's why we use lots of Us and spell things without Zs. It's all part of the ploy. I've said too much.
  • A for Effort (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @10:13AM (#49361065)
    I know the actions were criminal but I sort of admire the guy. It makes me wonder about human nature and it did take a lot of talent to do what he did. Somebody will make a movie out of this and we will hear from this guy again. With his talents he just has to keep on doing this stuff.
  • by CanadianMacFan ( 1900244 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @10:27AM (#49361099)

    I bet those guys in Quebec are kicking themselves. Here they went to all of the trouble to get a helicopter to break them out of jail and all they had to do is send an email!

  • "I should have known when the instructions told me to give him £50 out of my wallet, too."

  • and convinced them to drop the Beta. This guy is good.

  • IDK why BBC are reporting this now, it happened a year ago, summary also doesn't mention that he handed himself back in within a week of escaping.

    • My guess is because it's just emerged in court probably at his trial. The article states he will be sentenced on 20th April, implying that the pre-sentence reports are now being prepared. Before now the prison service probably kept it quiet; and hopefully will have improved their procedures by now.
  • 'Nuff said. Social Engineering FTW.
  • Sounds like an imitation of the Inspector Morse episode "Masonic Mysteries", in which a criminal whom Morse has had imprisoned pulls a similar trick. And then the fun begins!

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt06... [imdb.com]

  • a process problem: either the process sucks or the prison staff are not following process.
    Release notices by email? By email from an unofficial email address? By unencrypted, undigitally-signed email from an unofficial email address?
  • Jeez, that' s talent, reminds me of the Italian forgerer who placed a 300 EUR bank note. But that was a bet, I reckon.

    " my EURO bank notes are better than the official version!"
    "so prove it, you clod!"
  • Coordinator: Crucifixion?
    Mr. Cheeky: Er, no, freedom actually.
    Coordinator: What?
    Mr. Cheeky: Yeah, they said I hadn't done anything and I could go and live on an island somewhere.
    Coordinator: Oh I say, that's very nice. Well, off you go then.
    Mr. Cheeky: No, I'm just pulling your leg, it's crucifixion really.
    Coordinator: [laughing] Oh yes, very good. Well...
    Mr. Cheeky: Yes I know, out of the door, one cross each, line on the left.

  • why did charge him with escape from custody? I.e., They must have been able to prove that he sent the e-mail.

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