March 4, 2009

The Bank Job - meet Lord Rodley

As much as I despise thuggery and consider it to be a proof of devolution, a well executed bank job or jewel heist can be a thing of beauty. The intelligence required to research and plan something this complex as well as the logistical chops needed to pull it off are a testament to clever people everywhere. Besides, most jewelry and cash are insured so it is not a crime where someone is physically injured. One of these bank jobs almost happened in England -- they were tripped up by some wrong numbers. From the London Times:
Bogus peer Hugh Rodley tried to pull off world’s biggest bank raid
A fake British aristocrat was convicted yesterday of playing a leading role in an audacious attempt to carry out the world’s biggest bank raid.

The gang of international criminals came close to stealing £229 million from a City bank by exploiting the high-tech security measures designed to protect money transfers. But the plot failed when a hacker into the system missed one set of numbers from an electronic form.

Hugh Rodley — who insisted on being addressed as “Lord” despite having bought his manorial title — was the front man for the group, setting up companies and bank accounts to receive and launder the money.

Details of the “bold and sophisticated” attack were untangled by the Serious Organised Crime Agency during a four-year investigation.
And a bit more:
Other members of the plot have not been caught and are known to have carried out similar attacks abroad. Among those who are suspected of being involved are the Eastern European mafia and a Middle Eastern sheikh.

Rodley was the perfect front man for the plot. He enjoyed all the trappings of the rural aristocracy, with a £2 million Gloucestershire home surrounded by five acres of gardens, riding stables, a Rolls-Royce and an office in Mayfair.

Rodley, his wife, known as “Lady” Pamela, and their daughters, Natasha and Natalie, are prominent figures in the British Morgan Horse Society and frequently take part in riding competitions. Even Rodley’s 15-year dispute with neighbours over a leylandii hedge is quintessentially Middle England.

But behind the respectability was a lifetime of fraud. Born Brian McGough in Ireland in 1947, he is a bankrupt with a long criminal record for offences including forgery and obtaining property by deception.
And I am assuming that book and movie rights are being hashed out right now... A great story! Posted by DaveH at March 4, 2009 9:58 PM | TrackBack
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