Conmen pose as Skanska to steal £2.3m from ODA

Aaron Morby 13 years ago
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A gang of conmen stole more than £2m from the Olympic Development Authority by pretending to work for Skanska.

The fraudsters rang up the ODA saying they worked for Skanska and claimed a new bank account had been set up for future payments for work on the Olympics.

Southwark Crown Court heard the unsuspecting London 2012 Games body accepted the story and ended up transfering £2.3m to the account.

Ansmana Kamara, 31, from Sierra Leone, was jailed for three and a half years after he admitted laundering the stolen cash.

After the money was paid into the accounts of his bogus law firm, he set about distributing large amounts to accomplices, before attempting to wire a cheque for £2m to Nigeria.

But staff at the money transfer bureau grew suspicious and stopped the cash being sent overseas. The authorities were able to recover it before it was too late.

Sentencing Kamara, Judge Jeffrey Pegden, said: “These money-laundering offences are serious because they targeted a public authority and £2.3m was dishonestly acquired, albeit for a relatively short period.

“Although not responsible for the original fraud, I am satisfied that you were close to it, and I have come to that conclusion because you received all of the money.”

Kamara pleaded guilty to a variety of charges including converting criminal property and possessing a false identity document with intent.

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