Scotland Yard officers arrested a Huddersfield fraudster at his home after an undercover policeman had bought documents from him via a website.
The site indicated the documents were to be used for “novelty purposes” but he said it was the police fear they could also be used in fraud.
The undercover officer using the identity of a Simon Lonsdale contacted the site and was supplied with a gas utility bill and HSBC bank statement. He did not indicate why he wanted them.
However on subsequent e-mails he specifically stated he wanted an EDF bill and a Barclays Bank statement and some pay slips to help make a loan application.
The price stated was £230 and he was sent templates for checking and then the documents after he arranged for payment.
On September 14, 2011 Scotland Yard officers went to the home of Derrick Smith and seized various documents some of which he said he had been sent by customers to replicate and he accepted responsibility for the website.
Further inquiries then revealed he had used fraudulent documents to make a credit card application for himself to HSBC with a £1500 limit and an overdraft facility with Nat West for £1600.
Although in his name he had used an address in Harrogate where he had never lived. Within four days of getting the credit card he had spent £1300 on it and was found to have used his overdraft to the limit.
Smith, 47, of Keldregate, Bradley was committed for sentence by magistrates having admitted two charges of fraud, possessing articles for the use in fraud and making articles for use in fraud.
He was given a 12 months prison sentence suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work after Judge James Spencer QC said he accepted there had been considerable delay in his case.
“You haven’t been in trouble for many years but in a period of time around 2010/11 you set yourself up as a supplier of articles which were going to be used for fraud. You used such articles yourself on two occasions.”
“I have come to the conclusion you are a professional fraudster but the fact you were investigated by Scotland Yard and had to wait for your fate to be determined for two years should have brought you up short and that this is not the way forward.”
He said Smith had indicated to a probation officer he would remain out of trouble saying he had committed the offences when struggling financially which was no longer the case since he was working.
“We will see if that is the case in the fullness of time. If you are tempted into further offending in this two years you will serve the sentence immediately.”