Fraudster jailed after spree on credit cards

Melvyn Howe
Saturday 14 December 2002 01:00

A man was jailed for five years yesterday for masterminding an "unprecedented" credit card fraud.

Dan Mazar, 33, of north London, "meticulously planned and carefully executed" an international swindle. With the help of 300 credit cards in an array of bogus identities, he enjoyed luxury holidays and hotels and shopping sprees in stores such as Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason. Dressed in designer clothes and travelling everywhere by taxi, he filled the £220,000 flat he bought for cash with top-of-the-range furniture, including a £4,000 bed and a £3,500 television.

"This defendant was the central figure in a sophisticated conspiracy," Martin Hicks, for the prosecution, told Southwark Crown Court in London.

"He was involved both as prime mover and principal beneficiary. It was a meticulously planned, carefully executed conspiracy to defraud credit card companies on an unprecedented scale."

After two years and 10 months, interrupted by a seven-month prison sentence for the Israeli end of the plot, his "luck ran out" in a central London branch of Superdrug in April. As a taxi paid for with one of the many credit cards waited outside, Mazar embarked on another shopping expedition. But staff became suspicious and called police, who arrested him as he tried to flee in the cab. When he was searched officers found 15 credit cards in different names, and an extensive "aide memoir" with various identification details to help him keep track of his various aliases. He admitted one count of conspiracy to defraud, concerning £286,903.

Note:The original article incorrectly referred to the Dan Mazar convicted as a relation of the former president of Israel, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, but he is not related to the former president's family .

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