Apr 12, 2010

Seven-year sentence for card fraud technology supplier

TORONTO--Robert Cattral, who has a PhD in Computer Science, has just been sentenced to seven years in jail by the Ontario Superior Court for knowingly supplying card fraud technology to international terrorists and criminals.

In the 1990s, Robert Cattral and Catherine Brunet started a business in Ottawa known as Canadian Barcode and Plastic Card Supply Inc. According to indictment documents, the company sold various devices such as blank magnetic-stripe cards, magnetic-stripe card readers, printers, embossers, and data loggers. It also sold the software for transferring financial card data from a credit card or data logger to a blank magnetic-stripe card.

Among customers of Canadian Barcode were individuals in London, UK involved in terrorist activities, who forged credit cards, with the devices and software supplied by the company, the indictment said. The company also supplied criminal customers in France, the USA and Canada.

Cattral, Brunet and company employee Henry Beauchamp constituted the core of the criminal organization, the Court was told during their trial, which took place between September 22, 2008 and April 8, 2009. They were convicted for selling devices knowing they were intended to be used to forge credit cards. They were also convicted for fraudulently possessing credit card data and for committing an offence for the benefit of a criminal organization.

To collect evidence, the RCMP used wire taps and made purchases from Canadian Barcode. For example, on April 21, 2004, Scott Thompson of the Centre for Forensic Science (CFS) spoke with Beauchamp and was given details about an fraudulent ATM set-up, including a pin-hole camera, a receiver located in the garbage can, and a card reader on the ATM. In all the RCMP spent around C$50,000 purchasing samples of devices which were which were being used for credit card fraud between 2001 and 2004.

On April 6 2010, Cattral received a seven-year prison term, and Brunet received four years in prison. Beauchamp received two years and nine months, while “street-level fraudster” Ravi Rabbi Shanghavi a Canadian Barcode customer who was convicted of possessing and trafficking credit card data, was sentenced to 15 months, report the Ottawa Citizen and the Toronto Sun. Cattral and Brunet were also fined C$40,000 each.



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