English Man Caught After Running A Multimillion Dollar International Computer Scam . . . Given Suspended Sentence and Fined £5,665 In “Landmark Case”

thumb_at_computer_silloetteEngland flagI must be missing something. English prosecutors are heralding the sentencing of Mohammed Khalid Jamil as a “landmark case” in their campaign against computer fraud. Jamil ran an international conspiracy to defraud people of millions in a Microsoft scam. However, he received just a four-month sentence and that sentence was promptly suspended. As for the fine, he was told to pay £5,665. How exactly is that a landmark?

Jamil, 34, allegedly convinced people to pay him over over £1million a year by using a phone banks in India and Dubai to cold call home and say that they were from Microsoft. The families were told that their computers were infected and needed to be cleaned. Victims were told that the callers could take over their computers remotely and cure the problem for a fee of between between £30 and £150.

It was a great achievement of the National Trading ­Standards eCrime Team to track down this crook. However, it is hard to see how people like Jamil will be deterred with such low penalties. In law school, we often teach the economic principle that deterrence results from adjustments of the penalty to reflect the rate of detection. The lower the detection, the higher the penalty must be to achieve the same level of deterrence under this theory. In this case, both the detection and the penalty are remarkably low. This would have seemed an excellent case to demonstrate the costs of such criminal activities.

Jamil’s operation, Smart Support Guys, was the source of hundreds of complaints. What makes this low penalty even more bizarre is that Jamil had previously been warned by Luton Trading Standards for running an earlier version of the scam under a different name. Many of his victims were elderly. All of these aggravating features were considered in the sentencing but he was then given a suspended sentence and a tiny fine.

He was left with a suspended four-month jail sentence and ordered to pay a fine of £5,000, costs of £13,929 and ­compensation of £5,665. Notably, the prosecution costs are greater than the victim fines. At that rate, Jamil’s Smart Support Guys was a roaring success.

Am I missing something?

Source: Mirror

21 thoughts on “English Man Caught After Running A Multimillion Dollar International Computer Scam . . . Given Suspended Sentence and Fined £5,665 In “Landmark Case””

  1. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I think
    that you should publish more on this subject matter, it might
    not be a taboo matter but generally people don’t speak about these issues.
    To the next! All the best!!

  2. he received just a four-month sentence and that sentence was promptly suspended. As for the fine, he was told to pay £5,665. How exactly is that a landmark?

    he didn’t have to molest a 3 y/o to get it?

    1. I went out and chased this through the British papers and the reason this is a ‘landmark case’ is that this is the first prosecution of the Microsoft scam.
      Here is a report from across the pond:

      Jamil set up a company called SmartSupportGuys and then hired call centre workers in India to call British citizens claiming to be “Microsoft Certified” engineers. Targets would then be duped into offering remote access to home computers that are then made less secure by the scammer at which point they would offer to fix the problem – for a price.
      The software, which is available for free through Microsoft’s website, was sold to targets for anything between £35 and £150. As a result of this Jamil will pay £5,665 compensation to victims of the scheme, a £5,000 fine and £13,929 in prosecution costs and his jail term will be suspended for 12 months.

  3. It’s surprising because the British are as virulenty aganst fraud and scam artists as is the rest of the world There’s a lot of very helpful American investigative TV shows set in Britain showing a very well dressed man with a
    sad face and an awkwardly told sob tale of family destitution . Deterrence can be overdone if the accused is innocent, but these awkward men don’t understand that everyone looks childish with learned insulting behavoir . Money for really destitute countries are better served by real charities .

  4. BFM, Lol! The Prince says “soon.” Lunch will be @ George’s California Modern in LaJolla. Transportation provided, of course.

  5. Another example of the best justice money can buy. If you do not hurt these kind of criminals at least in the pocket book, how do you expect to change their behavior?

  6. I keep hoping my Nigerian Prince will pay off, I’ve sent him 120k so he owes me 12 million.

    1. Nick, the tradition on this site is that when he pays off you get to take everybody to lunch to celebrate your good luck.

      Just let us know where to meet you.

  7. The new report from the UK government seems almost to be a recruiting campaign to attract overseas scammer investment.

    I guess as long as defendants don’t say they are Irish Republicans, light sentences prevail.

  8. ” How exactly is that a landmark?”

    Yeah, what kind of landmark is that. In this country DOJ would have hit him for a civil penalty. Now that’s landmark!!!

  9. They have to make sure that there is plenty of jail space for cannabis “offenders” !!!

  10. Seems like a very lucrative endeavor. I hope to have version 2 up and running next week.

  11. He either had an excellent lawyer, the judge was Islamic, or his Al Qaeda friends offered the judge and jury an offer they dared not refuse.

  12. From time to time, I get a scam call asking me to go to my Internet computer so the caller can help me rid my computer of damaging files. Had I the time to waste, I suppose I could dig out a first model IBM PC that can run MS-DOS 3.1 and Windows 3.1 with floppy disks, using a V.92 commercial modem and a dial up. I have the hardware and software, which I have, so far, kept out of landfills and environment-polluting pseudo-recyclers.

    Or, would it be better to use a Commodore 128 with CP/M 3.0 and play the role of a person who cannot distinguish that computer from a newer one?

    That would be an interesting, if stupid, research activity; how long would a scammer hang on while i attempted to do as requested with a computer that could never be harmed by such a scammer, nor do what the scammer told me to do?

    Out of curiosity and foolishness, I have managed to get a few such callers “off script,” and what they say rapidly has tended to become like frothing at the mouth.

    Is it true that the rich are rich only because the poor are poor?

    1. Brian,
      I did keep a scammer on the hook for two weeks but that was the best I could do. 🙂 We kept emailing back and forth, but then he gave up and realized I was not going to give him my money to get his money.

  13. What you are not getting is that under English law this IS a big win.

  14. obviously falls into the ‘white collar crime’ category – they do not get sent to jail in most cases – the judge probably thought he looked like a nice clean type – not like those other nasty people appearing before him every day – bet the guy was in his business suit with real clean-cut look !!!

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