Canadian conman taps banks

A CANADIAN court has found three Australian banks and many more from elsewhere were defrauded by a Canadian conman who, in 2008, used multiple fake credit cards to buy a fleet of luxury cars and a $C126,950 ($121,600) boat.

Westpac, St George Bank and Bankwest were just three banks and card issuers from around the world that gave evidence this year against Kamyar ''Andy'' Jahanrakhshan of North Vancouver.

In spending almost $C500,000 of other people's money, Jahanrakhshan used forged credit cards that carried his real name and supplied the various car dealers with his driver's licence.

He was found guilty last month of multiple counts of fraud by the Supreme Court in British Columbia.

Staff from Westpac, St George and Bankwest gave evidence that numbers used on some of the fake credit cards correlated with genuine accounts issued to their customers.

Jahanrakhshan was sentenced this year to six months' jail for impersonating a police officer and obstructing the course of justice. The court heard that while Jahanrakhshan was under investigation for credit-card fraud in 2008 and 2009, he conned staff at Bankwest and St George into faxing him details of credit card accounts after telling them he was a Canadian police officer.

In the latest case, Justice Gregory Bowden heard that the Australian banks suffered losses of tens of thousands of dollars as Jahanrakhshan spent more than $C340,000 on cars in the seven months to June 2008.

The court heard Jahanrakhshan used counterfeit cards to buy three BMWs, two Mercedes Benz cars, a 2007 Cadillac Escalade and a 2008 Lexus RX350, as well as a 2006 Sea Ray Sundancer 300 boat.

Jahanrakhshan used eight bogus credit cards to pay for one of the BMWs, six to buy the Cadillac and nine to pay for the boat, sometimes using the fake cards multiple times to draw down thousands of dollars.

He was also found guilty of being in possession of devices used for making fake credit cards.

The court heard that when Jahanrakhshan bought one of the BMWs in June 2008, the car dealership's electronic funds terminal transmitted 13 transactions valued at $63,556 against four credit cards over a period of 2½ hours. A further 21 transactions valued at $137,174 against 12 credit cards were declined in that time.

Card issuers and banks in England, France, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Brazil were also defrauded.