Detectives have revealed how they smashed an organised crime gang which conned more than 100 eBay customers while investigating a burglary in Belper.
Following a raid in August 2009, officers spotted the victim’s Royal Crown Derby china for sale on the internet auction site and arrested three men.
The investigation soon turned into a large-scale fraud inquiry after officers discovered false paperwork and bank cards at their homes.
It was found the trio got hold of personal details by setting-up a fake distribution firm and using the website Gumtree to get people to submit their CVs,
They had then used the fake identities to open eBay accounts and sell stolen goods on the site, encouraging customers to pay with a banker’s draft.
Between 2007 and 2009, the gang netted more than £100,000. One victim, a 60-year-old man from Duffield, had his passport stolen during a burglary. The gang used his personal details to open a business account.
Now, Steven Curran, 37, has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years after admitting creating articles for use in fraud. Gary Gillam and Anthony Young, both 36, received the same sentence after they admitted conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation at Derby Crown Court.
DC Tim Black, of the Derbyshire Fraud Squad, said: “These sentences are the culmination of a three-year investigation. I would like to thank eBay for their co-operation during the inquiry. This was a sophisticated fraud which really impacted on the lives of those people whose identities were stolen.”