Multi-agency investigation results in jail for prolific York fraudster
Main article content
A prolific fraudster from York who made more than £100,000 from his criminal enterprise has been jailed for three years following a “complex” multi-agency investigation.
North Yorkshire Police teamed up with British Transport Police (BTP) and South Yorkshire Police on an operation to bring the 26-year-old man to justice for a series of scams that spanned 17 months.
Nicholas Arran Whiteside (pictured), of Holgate Road, appeared at Inner London Crown Court on 21 October 2021 where he pleaded guilty to 18 counts of fraud.
On Friday 28 January 2022, a judge sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment.
For nearly two years, across 2018 and 2019, Whiteside conducted fraudulent operations targeting rail ticket providers, retail outlets, a health club and individuals including his work colleagues.
In that time, he used fraudulently obtained bank cards to purchase train tickets via Trainline’s website – making over 100 bookings in total.
His activity forced Trainline to issue chargebacks which resulted in tens of thousands of pounds in losses for the company.
Whiteside also conned retail outlets in Sheffield which entailed him purchasing pre-paid gift cards from Meadowhall Shopping Centre again using fraudulent bank cards.
He would then use these gift cards to purchase high-value items such as laptops and iPads.
Alongside these large-scale scams, he was also targeting individuals.
In the summer of 2019, he offered heavily discounted tickets for travel and entertainment to his work colleagues.
By the time they identified the tickets as fake, Whiteside had resigned from the organisation.
His fraudulent activity also targeted a health club by setting up a corporate account for 200 employees, a car garage to hire and use an expensive car and a letting company to rent apartments across York.
DS Kyle Boad, of North Yorkshire Police’s York and Selby Investigation Hub, said: “Nicholas Whiteside has caused nothing but misery and anguish to the many victims he has targeted over the years, including those in York and North Yorkshire and around the country.
“Motivated solely by greed, he has lied and cheated his way at every turn with the ruthless intention of defrauding innocent people and businesses.
“His offending is truly abhorrent, and he deserves nothing less than a significant period of time in prison.”
DC Adrienne Curzon, BTP’s investigating officer in the case, said: “Whiteside’s relentless offending targeted an array of individuals and businesses, he had no set victim and aimed to defraud anyone he could for his own financial greed.
“Working closely with our policing colleagues at North Yorkshire and South Yorkshire on this complex investigation was essential to ensuring he faced justice and was sufficiently punished for his criminal enterprise.
“I hope he spends his time behind bars wisely and considers a new career path on the right side of the law for when he returns to the community.”
DS Sam Erabadda, of South Yorkshire Police’s Fraud Coordination Team, said: “This was a considered campaign of deceit in which Whiteside acted with complete dishonesty and defrauded a number of blameless victims out of significant sums of money.
“Fortunately, after working closely with the British Transport Police and colleagues in North Yorkshire, we were able to identify Whiteside as the criminal responsible and bring him to justice.
“I hope this sentencing will act as a warning to anyone else carrying out organised fraudulent activity, and to any others who may in the future try to abuse and exploit innocent people and businesses trust.”