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‘Acid House King’ Tony Colston-Hayter sentenced for £1.25m cyber scam at Swiss Cottage Barclays

Tony Colston-Hayter photographed in 1989. Picture: Alex Lentati/REX Tony Colston-Hayter photographed in 1989. Picture: Alex Lentati/REX

Friday, April 25, 2014
1:01 PM

The leader of a cyber gang which plundered £1.25 million from British banks has been jailed for five and a half years.

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Other members of the group were also handed substantial prison terms at Southwark Crown Court for their roles in the audacious fraud on Thursday (April 24).

Tony Colston-Hayter, 48, who was once nicknamed the “Acid House King” for staging controversial outdoor raves in the late 1980s, led the gang which hijacked computers at Barclays in Finchley Road, Swiss Cottage, to siphon off funds.

Colston-Hayter had earlier pleaded guilty to masterminding the fraud while others also admitted their part in the scam and some were found guilty.

An “Aladdin’s Cave” of documents and equipment for fraud had been discovered at his flat in Seymour Street, Marble Arch.

Judge Juliet May QC told him: “There is no doubt in my mind that you played a key operational role in taking forward and implementing these plans.”

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