UK national alleged to have been crime gang chief who set up website offering goods for sale
A fraudster with convictions in Ireland for “wining and dining” in expensive hotels using stolen credit cards has been surrendered to the United Kingdom.
There he will face an allegation of heading an organised crime group that sold internet users’ bank details on the dark web.
UK national Carlos Mason (32) is alleged, in a European Arrest Warrant issued by the UK, to have been the head of an organised crime group that set up a website offering goods for sale. Users who attempted to purchase those goods received nothing, the warrant states, but the crime gang took their bank details and used them to make fraudulent purchases or sold them on using a dark web marketplace known as Dream Market.
Mason, with an address at Peabody Square, Islington, London, will face charges of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between March 2017 and June 2019 and possession of criminal property. Mr Justice Paul Burns at the High Court on Monday authorised his surrender to the UK authorities.
Mason was jailed for one year by the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in May 2020 after pleading guilty to two counts of dishonestly inducing two luxury Dublin hotels to accept fraudulent credit card payments between December 29th, 2019 and January 19th, 2020.
Taste for high living
During a sentence hearing last year Garda Mark O’Neill told Karl Finnegan, prosecuting, that Mason checked into the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin on December 29th, 2019, using a stolen American Express credit card registered to a woman in the UK. He left the five-star hotel without paying on January 3rd after staff queried the credit card details. He had run up a bill of €3,735, the court heard.
Mason then checked into the Westbury Hotel, where he stayed until January 19th, running up a bill of €4,700. In total, he spent €8,435 in both hotels.
“He enjoyed himself in the hotels, wining and dining,” said Mr Finnegan. When the credit card was reported stolen, Westbury staff immediately contacted Mason, but he left the hotel without settling his bill.