A chip-and-pin fraudster who stole the credit card details of at least 35,000 motorists was jailed for four years yesterday.
Theogones De Montford, a software engineering student, used his technical expertise to mastermind a £725,000 scam which snared thousands of unwitting drivers using Shell and Texaco garages.
The 29-year-old installed custom-built circuit boards into the petrol stations chip-and-pin machines and intercepted innocent customers details on a laptop using a Bluetooth broadcast.
The information was then sold on to other crooks around the globe. The Crown prosecution was able to prove £725,000 of loss caused by De Montford's activities, but the judge believed the actual cost may have been as high as £35m.
The fraudster was arrested after a CCTV camera caught him interfering with chip-and-pin machines. De Montford was so prolific that credit card cloning in the UK was said to have taken a noticeable drop since his apprehension.
Three co-conspirators also received three year prison sentences for conspiracy to defraud.