Norfolk

Men jailed over £1m fake bank accounts scam

Anastasios Sotiropoulos and Dionysios Tsekleris Image copyright Norfolk Constabulary
Image caption Anastasios Sotiropoulos and Dionysios Tsekleris were living under false names when they were arrested

Two men who admitted using £1m from 80 fake bank accounts to fund their luxury lifestyle have been jailed.

Anastasios Sotiropoulos, 57, and Dionysios Tsekleris, 42, used the money to buy expensive cars, art, antiques and high-end hotel stays.

Sotiropoulos was sentenced to four years and nine months for fraud and money laundering, while Tsekleris got 15 months for money laundering.

The pair, of Humshaugh, Northumberland, were sentenced at Norwich Crown Court.

They were living in Waterden, Norfolk, when their crimes came to light in August 2017.

Police were alerted to the fraud by a member of staff at MBNA Bank, who contacted officers to say multiple credit accounts in different names seemed to be held by one man.

An investigation by the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Cyber and Serious Crime Team found Sotiropoulos and Tsekleris had used more than 80 different names, addresses, company names and date of birth combinations to rake in more than £1m from various banks and financial institutions in credit and loan applications.

The pair were traced to an address in Spring Lane, Waterden, but then moved to Northumberland, where they were living under false names.

They were arrested in August 2018 after officers discovered false identity cards, forged bank statements and blank wage slips at their address.

Fraud investigator Ian Addison said Sotiropoulos and Tsekleris had "gone to great lengths to try and hide their true location".

He added: "This lengthy and complex case demonstrates our commitment to bringing offenders to justice."

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