Nicolae George Sora, 30, of Hampden Lane, Tottenham, London has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for using false identity documents to commit fraud.
On 23 September at 9.40am officers were called to the HSBC UK branch in Epsom where a man was attempting to open a new account and get a credit card.
Sora’s photograph was recognised by one of the bank’s staff members as having warnings against it from an internal memo.
He had made nine fraudulent attempts to open bank accounts and credit cards using suspected false documents at other HSBC UK branches between May and September 2019, with total losses amounting to £4,559.61.
The Slovakian passport he used on the day he was arrested has been determined to be fake.
Sora pleaded guilty at Guildford Crown Court to charges that he conspired to commit fraud by false representation and that he possessed or controlled an identity document that was false. He was sentenced to a total of 18 months in prison.
PC James Wheatland of Epsom’s Neighbourhood Policing Team took charge of the case and he and several colleagues passed the investigation between them, each taking over as they came on to shift to ensure that enquiries were quickly completed and Sora charged.
PC Wheatland says: “This was a really complex case. Sora had multiple aliases and owned multiple passports and ID cards from countries including Austria, Lithuania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Romania, and this was all part of his MO.
“Because of his many aliases and the fact that he didn’t cooperate in interview, we were initially unable to confirm his true identity, but with help from the National Crime Agency we now know him to be Nicolae George Sora. He had committed fraud across London and Surrey and was obviously well equipped to continue to do so, had we not stopped him.
“Local bank staff are some of our best allies in identifying when fraud is taking place, whether that’s serious identity fraud like this or a vulnerable or elderly person being scammed and coming into their branch to withdraw funds. Thanks to HSBC UK’s branch staff for their vigilance and quick response.”
Sora went through the court process under the name of Marco Vekoslav, one of his aliases, and was subsequently confirmed to be Nicolae Sora.