Bank card scam fraudster and his gang jailed

Fraudsters bought £100,000-worth of cars, motorbikes, jewellery and even new teeth using stolen bank card details.
Ashley VickersAshley Vickers
Ashley Vickers

The group, which included a borough man, used WhatsApp to plot after its ringleader obtained people’s financial information from the dark web.

Aqil Khan posed as various people to make the payments over the phone after his accomplices went into shops across Greater Manchester to show interest in cars, jewellery and motorbikes.

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Manchester Crown Court heard Ashley Vickers from Atherton was among those involved in the conspiracy and was jailed for three years this week. One of his victims was a Wigan watch repairer from whom he stole a £23,000 ring.

Vickers and co-conspirator Dane Fitzwater helped the gang walk away with several cars and motorbikes.

The latter even managed to pay for a new set of veneers with stolen card details with Khan’s help.

Michael Brady, prosecuting, said that in August 2015, Vickers went into a motorbike shop to say he was interested in two bikes worth a total of £6,000 and that his father would call and pay over the phone.

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Fitzwater helped keep watch before sending the garage’s contact details to Khan, who then called up and paid for the items using stolen credit and debit card details.

The group managed to take a BMW 320 worth £6,500; an Audi A3 worth £9,000; and a Volkswagen Scirocco worth £10,500.

Mr Brady said a total of nine cars and six motorbikes were taken, none of which have been recovered.

Vickers stole a £5,000 watch from a person’s house in Rochdale after seeing it advertised online. He also snatched £4,650-worth of rings from Lepps Jewellers and a £23,000 engagement ring from Time Piece Watch Repairs in Wigan.

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The group was rumbled when police found counterfeit cash in Khan’s letterbox in August 2016. Officers seized his phone and found a long list of conspiracies and information which led them to his accomplices.

Vickers, 31, of Coronation Avenue, Atherton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud motor traders and thefts from a house in Rochdale, Lepps Jewellers and Time Piece Watch Repairs.

Aqil Khan, 30, of Watson Avenue, Manchester, admitted four conspiracy to defraud charges and being in possession of counterfeit cash and was also jailed for three years.

Mitigating for Vickers, Rosalind Bell said he had “spent his life in and out of prison” following a difficult childhood.

Fitzwater, 34, and his wife Samantha Doyle, 38, of Headnam Drive, Altrincham, were jailed for six years and nine months respectively, although the latter’s sentence was suspended.