Ipswich scammer jailed after using dead woman's bank account for money laundering
PUBLISHED: 11:15 07 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:08 07 June 2019
An Ipswich fraudster is behind bars for his part in a criminal gang's million-pound money laundering scam.
Dainius Ziupka, 26, of Foxall Road, was arrested as part of an investigation by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) into a Norwich-based organised crime group (OCG).
Ziupka and other members of the crime gang used malware to get into victims' bank accounts, call banks pretending to be innocent customers and them launder the stolen funds through 'mule' bank accounts before taking it out as cash.
He fled to his native Lithuania after his arrest, but was successfully extradited in November 2018.
Ziupka pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and was jailed at Luton Crown Court yesterday for three years and nine months.
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Peters said: "This was an incredibly complex investigation, not least because the two main offenders fled to Lithuania following their arrest.
"However, thanks to the tireless work of our investigators, as well as the fantastic partnership working with our counterparts abroad, Ziupka has now been brought to justice."
The mule bank accounts used by the scammers included one belonging to a woman who had recently died, as well as another belonging to a serving prisoner.
The OCG is believed to have gained more than £1million through their crimes.
Earlier this year, the ringleader of the OCG, Edgaras Petkevicius, 33, of Primrose Crescent, Norwich, was jailed for his part in the conspiracy.
He was initially jailed for 11 years in his absence, having also fled to Lithuania.
He was extradited back to England in December 2018 under a European arrest warrant and served with an additional nine months for failing to appear.
Laura Milasiute, 28, also of Primrose Crescent, received a nine-month sentence suspended for 12 months and 150 hours of community service after being convicted of money laundering.
The ERSOU tackles serious organised crime and the terrorism threat across the eastern region with officers from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent, Norfolk and Suffolk.