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British Man Duped Prison Officials Into Freeing Him With Fake Government Email

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A British man is awaiting sentencing after he apparently created a fake government email address while in prison and used it to trick officials into releasing him.

A prosecutor said Neil Moore, 28, was awaiting trial on fraud charges last year when he used a cell phone that he snuck in to the Wandsworth prison to create a web domain (hmcts-gsi-gov.org.uk) that looked like that of Britain’s Royal Courts of Justice (hmcts.gsi.gov.uk), NBC News reports. He then created an email address with that domain and pretended to be a court clerk, messaging prison officials to say he had been granted bail and should be freed.

Not only did officials comply and let him out on March 10 last year, documents show, but he also turned himself back in a few days later, his lawyer says. According to the Ilford Recorder, authorities were already aware of his escape.

Moore will be sentenced on April 20 after pleading guilty to one count of escape from lawful custody and eight counts of fraud. He was already facing fraud charges when he made his escape after impersonating employees at major banks in order to convince financial companies to fraudulently transfer him roughly $2.66 million U.S.

[NBC News]

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Write to Nolan Feeney at nolan.feeney@time.com