Man cleared by jury over Wester Ross salmon farm phishing scam

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“The reality is that the fraud jeopardised the livelihoods of at least 50 employees”.

Press and Journal reports a man has been clearing of being behind a phishing scam which took GBP 2 million from Wester Ross, Scotland’s oldest independent, owner-operated salmon farm.

Dan-Gabriel Aiyegbusi, 23, of Summit Easter Boulevard, Leicester, was accused of taking GBP 94,900 as part of GBP 2,090,000 belonging to Wester Ross Fisheries in 2017.

After nearly ten hours of deliberations, a jury cleared Aiyegbusi against three charges of conspiracy to transfer criminal property including one relating to the fish farm.

However, he previously admitted five separate counts of conspiracy to transfer criminal property, totalling GBP 45,000, and was remanded in custody until sentence at Southwark Crown Court on January 28.

The publication reported that Anthony Hucklesby, prosecuting, earlier told jurors: ‘Staff at Wester Ross Fisheries received a series of telephone calls from an unknown person fraudulently claiming to be from the Bank of Scotland, with whom the company held their business bank accounts.

‘These communications enabled the fraudsters to make a series of transfers totalling over GBP 2 million from the business bank account overnight between 19 and 20 July without the permission of the business.

‘The money was transferred in 209 separate transactions to 64 different bank accounts.

‘The prosecution do not suggest the defendant was involved in each of these transfers, but a number of them were paid to mules recruited by him.

‘A total of £94,900 we say were responsible to the defendant and in particular three beneficiaries.’

Gilpin Bradley, managing director of Wester Ross Fisheries, said: “The reality is that the fraud jeopardised the livelihoods of at least 50 employees”.

“We are extremely disappointed that nobody has been held to account or found guilty of the fraud”.