A fraudster who cost Transport for London (TfL) in the region of one million pounds in lost revenue has been sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.
Shaquille Moore, 27, of Trenholme Road, London, appeared at Inner London Crown Court on Friday 28 August where he pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation.
On Friday 25 September, a judge sentenced him to two years and eight months in prison.
Between May and December in 2018, Moore sold 16+ Zip Oyster photocards through social media under the alias ‘Ben Franklin’. The service Moore offered allowed individuals over the age of 18 to obtain a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard in exchange for a fee.
To be eligible for a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard, a person must be 16 or 17. Cardholder benefits include half price adult pay as you go adult fares across TfL services, and, in some instances, free travel.
Moore offered his ‘customers’ the service of falsifying documents with fake dates of births in order to create Oyster accounts online. This included the production of fake identification documents to enable his ‘customers’ to complete the proof of age step of the Oyster verification process.
On both 24 August and 11 September 2018, a TfL fraud investigator received two separate e-mails from TfL employees reporting suspected fraudulent activities relating to Oyster cards on social media.
Upon TfL prosecuting fraudulent cardholders, a number of them wrote to TfL to explain how and where they purchased the Oyster photocards. It was found that the money for the photocards was being sent to bank accounts in Shaquille Moore’s name.
After a successful investigation by the British Transport Police (BTP), with the support of TfL, Moore was located, arrested and charged with fraud by false representation.
BTP Detective Constable, Mark Pink, said: “This was a pre-planned, sophisticated fraud that continued for a prolonged period of time. Moore made over £35,000 from his criminality and his activity resulted in significant revenue loss for TfL.
“We've worked closely with TfL to bring Moore to justice and the sentence passed down to him today shows that this type of criminality will not be tolerated.”
Richard Mullings, TfL’s Head of Counter-Fraud and Corruption, said: “Fare evasion and fraud deprives the capital’s public transport system of millions of pounds of investment - money that should have been used to improve the buses, Tubes and roads for everyone. This latest conviction shows that we take a zero tolerance approach to anyone defrauding Londoners.
"We will not hesitate to prosecute anyone who fraudulently offers for sale Oyster cards to customers who are not eligible for our discounts, and those who purchase them to deliberately avoid paying for their travel.”