Computer hacker took £185k from PayPal customers
A PROFESSIONAL computer hacker has been jailed after he stole more than £180,000 directly from eBay customers.
Richard Kirk, who lives with his mum in Sherwood, attacked 303 accounts after he cracked users' passwords.
The 22-year-old was able to then access his victim's PayPal accounts, which allow people to pay for goods bought online.
He transferred money from the PayPal accounts into his own, and then used the stolen cash to buy items for himself.
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He spent £143,000 on valuable goods, including gold bars.
Kirk, from Bradmore Rise, was caught when one account holder got suspicious and contacted police.
Nottingham Crown Court heard officers set up an operation outside Kirk's house as he took delivery of two bars of gold bullion.
After the postman left, Kirk was arrested with his laptop on his knee, surrounded by parcels.
"Richard Kirk is a professional eBay and PayPal hacker," said Martin Hurst, prosecuting. "What this man has been doing is attacking other peoples' accounts and stealing their money on a daily basis."
Kirk pleaded guilty to five charges of fraud, four of theft and one relating to the use of an Acer laptop during the frauds.
Judge Ebrahim Mooncey sent him to prison for three-and-a-half years.
And he told Kirk: "A lot of effort was put in by you over a long period of time in order to conduct the fraud you did."