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PayPal hackers Selom Dotse of Walderslade Road Chatham and Olumide Soniran of Union Road South Lambeth ordered £2,000 worth of goods

Two university dropouts hacked into a woman’s PayPal account and ordered goods worth nearly £2,000, a court heard.

Selom Dotse and Olumide Soniran, both 25, treated themselves to luxury goods including an iPhone and an iPad, and even ordered a pizza using the victim’s Paypal account.

But this meant police had no trouble in tracing the hungry pair as Dotse gave his home address in Medway for delivery.

The fraudsters hacked the victim's PayPal account
The fraudsters hacked the victim's PayPal account

Dotse, of Walderslade Road, Chatham, and Soniran, of Union Road, South Lambeth, London, avoided immediate prison after admitting fraud.

They were sentenced to one month suspended for 18 months with 150 hours unpaid work. They were each ordered to pay £476 compensation at the rate of £30 a month.

A judge called the sentencing guidelines for such offences “remarkably lenient”.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the victim became concerned when she checked her hotmail and saw her Paypal account had been used to buy pizza costing £46.45.

Judge Charles Macdonald QC
Judge Charles Macdonald QC

She then received another email telling her goods totalling £586 had been ordered, giving the delivery address in Walderslade Road.

Prosecutor Andrew Forsyth said the woman called the police and alerted Paypal. She was told her hotmail account had been hacked into.

She checked it again and found there had been 17 unauthorised transactions within three hours, with the goods all going to the same address. Others totalling over £2,600 were stopped.

Police went to Dotse’s home and found some of the goods. A link to Soniran was also discovered.

Mr Forsyth said the total spending was £1,907. The victim was reimbursed all except £300 of the amount.

Maidstone Crown Court. Picture John Wardley
Maidstone Crown Court. Picture John Wardley

James Martin, for Dotse, said his client was presented with an “opportunity” when struggling for work and money. He convinced himself it was a victimless crime.

Soniran was at the time in the second year of university. He was employed at a pharmacy.

Judge Charles Macdonald QC told them: “This is fraud on a bank, although it caused trouble and considerable anxiety, inconvenience and stress to the individual into whose Paypal account you hacked.

“This was clearly a joint offence motivated by sheer greed. The spending was on luxuries.”

The judge added: “You have gravely let down good families from which each of you come.”

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