Crown Prosecution Service
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Banking fraudster sentenced

A banking fraudster has been sentenced for making fake applications to banks and a pension company to obtain loans, banking, and pension facilities, totalling around £178,000 in potential losses.

Michael Cross, 38, was recently (24 May 2024) sentenced to three years imprisonment at Inner Crown Court London.  

Alongside his co-defendant Fatima Ali, 40, Cross used the identities of genuine customers to make online applications to banking institutions. They used genuine passports with customer personal information as identification which they replaced with their own passport photographs before presenting them as valid identification.

The defendants uploaded ‘selfie’ pictures and videos which, in conjunction with the stolen customer personal data seized, enabled them to bypass online verification processes for setting up accounts.  

Images of Fatima Ali and Michael Cross

Fatima Ali (left) and Michael Cross

Cross submitted applications on 90 occasions, Ali on five. The actual loss involved was around £59,000 but there was further potential loss caused of around £119,000.

The CPS reviewed a lengthy file of evidence received from City of London Police which comprised extensive banking evidence, phone evidence and statements from the customers of the banking institutions concerned.

His co-defendant, Fatima Ali, 40, was sentenced on 22 December 2023 to three months’ imprisonment, suspended for nine months.

Shilpa Chauhan of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), recently said:

“Cross and Ali used the personal data and identities of innocent members of the public stolen to defraud banking and pension institutions. The case highlights the importance of protecting our personal data, to prevent it being used by fraudsters for dishonest purposes.  

“The CPS has specialists working with law enforcement partners to prosecute fraud and the changing threats posed by online fraudsters.”

Notes to Editors

  • Shilpa Chauhan is a Specialist Prosecutor for the Serious, Economic, Organised Crime and International Division of the Crown Prosecution Service.
  • Michael Cross (DOB: 17/07/1985) was convicted of fraud by false representation at Inner Crown Court London on 05/10/2023 and was sentenced to three years imprisonment and he was ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,200 with a victim surcharge of £154 within three months 
  • Fatima Ali (DOB: 20/09/1982) was convicted of fraud by false representation at Inner Crown Court London on 05/10/2023 and was sentenced to 3 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 9 months, on 22/12/2023


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