A 34-year-old man has been sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court for his part in a sophisticated phishing scam that targeted hundreds of UK students, using their compromised data to steal in excess of £1.5 million.
Tunji Isiaka Lawal, a Nigerian national, was among a number of cyber criminals who targeted students by sending them e-mails inviting them to update details on their student loan account via a link to a bogus website.
When the site was accessed by the unsuspecting victims, Lawal and other members of the cyber gang were able to gain unauthorised access to their bank accounts and extract large amounts of money.
It is believed that Lawal was responsible for controlling a 'botnet' - a network of virus-infected computers used to spread phishing emails to other victims.
Detectives began investigating Lawal after establishing he was closely associated with Olajide Onikoyi, a 29-year-old Nigerian national of Blackley, in Manchester, who was convicted for his part in the fraud last year.
Five other individuals involved in the scam have already been sentenced and received jail terms of between 12 months and four years.