07 Feb 2020
A 31-year-old man has been charged over an $11 million cyber fraud in which he allegedly obtained the financial profiles and identities of more than 80 people to create fraudulent bank accounts and steal from their savings and superannuation accounts.
Adam Jones, originally from South Australia, was arrested at a public library in Green Square on Wednesday morning after authorities closed in on the elaborate scheme allegedly targeting victims across Australia.
Mr Jones has been charged with 24 offences, including knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime, and dealing with identification information to commit an indictable offence.
He did not apply for bail at Newtown Local Court on Thursday, however bail was formally refused. He will next appear at the same court on April 2.
Police will allege Mr Jones obtained personal details of several unrelated individuals across Australia – such as their date of birth, credit card numbers and bank account details – using them to modify payroll data, superannuation details and credit card records.
Authorities estimate he gained more than $11 million through the coordinated identity theft and establishment of fraudulent accounts.
In one such example he allegedly attempted to move $1.1 million in one man’s superannuation account to his own, however the attempt was ultimately unsuccessful, as it was flagged by the bank and stopped.
Mr Jones does not have paid employment, however he works 10 hours a week as an unpaid intern at the NSW Institute of Sport.
Police will allege money gained through the scheme was spent on everyday living expenses such as groceries, as well as six overseas holidays, online sports betting and a $64,000 Mercedes-Benz.
Mr Jones will face Newtown court on Thursday over the alleged fraud.
An investigation into the alleged cyber fraud was launched by South Australia Police early last year, before the NSW Cybercrime Squad took carriage of the investigation in August 2019 when Mr Jones moved to NSW.
The two authorities formed Strike Force Cedrilla to investigate the alleged fraud, of which alleged victims have been identified in NSW and South Australia. It is also investigating incidents in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.
After Mr Jones’ arrest on Wednesday, strike force detectives raided his home in Erskineville, where he has been living with his partner, as well as his former home in Newtown.
During the searches police seized mobiles phones, computers, identity documentation, prohibited drugs and liquid steroids and an amount of cryptocurrency.
By Lucy Cormack, The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 February 2020
Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald
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