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Russian fraudster jailed for five years

A UK-based international fraudster has been brought to justice for a million-pound scam in a private criminal prosecution.

Andrey Kulich was sentenced to five years at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday after being convicted of conspiracy to defraud.

The 51-year-old Russian was part of an organised criminal network based in the West Midlands, who carried out a fraud that could have come straight from the script of The Sting.

The sophisticated deception, involved renting an office in Hong Kong, thereby deceiving the victim into believing this was a genuine Standard Chartered Bank office. There then followed an elaborate fraud, involving a fake bank website, forged FSA, Companies House, and government documents, and bogus emails.

The fraud netted the gang almost £1,000,000.

Repeated attempts to involve police to investigate floundered as they declined to pursue the investigation.

The investigation into the fraud was then conducted by BGP, and commenced in 2012.

The ensuing private criminal prosecution was carried out by a team from Edmonds Marshall McMahon, led by Tamlyn Edmonds. Following the conviction Ms Edmonds said “The investigation and prosecution into this elaborate, cross-jurisdictional fraud, has been a challenging and time-consuming task. It has been an incredibly difficult journey for the victim, who has spent close to a decade getting the justice he deserves. We will be working to pursue confiscation and compensation proceedings against Mr Kulich, to recoup the money stolen.”

Ian Horrocks of BGP Global Services said “This shows that even when the police do not pursue an investigation, it is still possible for the victim to obtain justice.”