Two former police officers have been convicted of hacking into computers as part of a private investigation service they conducted for wealthy clients.Jeremy Young and Scott Gelsthorpe were found guilty on two counts of conspiracy to cause unauthorised modification of computer material at Southwark Crown Court in London yesterday. In addition, they both admitted to conspiring to defraud and cause criminal damage to property.
The pair set up their private detective business, named Active Investigation Services, in 1999 when they were both serving Metropolitan Police officers.
They offered “extra hacking services” as part of their business for their richest clients.
The duo used fake names to make their actions harder to trace and charged up to £5,000 to hack into an email account. Marc Caron, an IT specialist from the US, helped the pair to hack into the computers. He used Trojans attached to emails and software programs to infect the victim’s machines and access their personal information.
The Phoenix-based specialist pleaded guilty in the US and will be sentenced next month.
The Metropolitan Police’s anti-corrruption command team closed in on the men after a tip-off from BT. They completed three months of surveillance before making any arrests.
Also in court yesterday was the ex-husband of Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon. He was found not guilty of conspiracy to modify computer material after he hired the private detectives to snoop on his estranged wife during their divorce.