A South Australian man has been charged over an alleged $11 million fraud in which he obtained the personal details of individuals to modify payroll data and create fraudulent bank accounts.
The 31-year-old was arrested at a library in the Sydney city fringe precinct of Green Square on Wednesday, following a joint investigation by detectives from NSW Police and South Australia Police.
He has been charged with 24 offences, including knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime and dealing with identity information to commit an indicatable offence.
The man, which the Sydney Morning Herald has identified as Adam Jones, has been refused bail and is due to appear at Newtown Local Court later today.
Police will alleged that Jones obtained upwards of $11 million from individuals across Australia through “coordinated identity theft and the establishment of fraudulent accounts” since early 2019.
Investigations found that “personal identification information had been acquired and used to modify payroll data, superannuation details and credit card records of several individuals”.
Strike Force Cedrilla identified that more than 80 individual personal and financial profiles had been obtained for the purpose of committing fraud.
Following the Jones’ arrest, officers executed two search warrants at homes in the inner-west suburbs of Newtown and Erskineville.
During the search, officer seized mobile phones, computers, personal identification documentation, prohibited drugs, including liquid steroids, and cryptocurrency.
South Australian Police also executed two search warrants at homes in Adelaide, where a 32-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman were arrested.
NSW Police Cybercrime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Mathew Craft said the arrests were the result of a complex investigation into a calculated and sophisticated fraud.
“Detectives from NSW and South Australia have been working tirelessly to disrupt the criminal activities of this individual,” he said.
“Cybercrime presents a unique challenge for law enforcement, and the only way we can tackle these national issues, is through the collaboration of our law enforcement and industry partners.”
Craft said that identity information was a “valuable commodity on the black market and dark web”, and that it was important both individuals and businesses have strong cyber security measures in place to ensure data is protected.
Investigations under Strike Force Cedrilla are continuing, with further charges are expected to be laid in the future.
In September, another cyber fraud allegedly stole up to $10 million from personal superannuation and share trading accounts using hijacked identity credentials that were obtained on the dark net.