Computer fraudster cleared of NI charges


A fraudster who invented computer software allowing cash to be taken from ATM machines has been cleared, by direction, of a similar fraud in Northern Ireland which netted over £16,000.

However, 53-year-old Maxwell Michael Parsons was not released from the dock of Belfast Crown Court, but remanded into custody for transfer back to England where he is currently serving a ten-year sentence.

The self-taught computer fraudster found a way to manipulate banking systems so payments were automatically reversed - meaning money could be spent again and again, had faced four charges including conspiracy to defraud Note Machine Ltd in August 2009, the theft of £16,600, possession of an article for use in fraud, and converting criminal property.

However, today (tue) after a jury of eight men and four women were sworn to hear his case, Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland directed them to acquit Parsons when prosecutor David Russell offered no evidence in the case.

When sentenced at Manchester Crown Court, Judge David Stockdale QC described Parsons as an “articulate, intelligent vociferous and very demanding individual, adept at the manipulation of those around him”, who had been “the mastermind .... from start to finish” of a conspiracy the likes of which had not been seen before or since.