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Finnish family face prison sentences over 250k stolen from online casino

An underage man is accused of aggravated fraud and suspected of stealing money from a Malta casino. His parents are also charged with money laundering.

Setelirahaa
Image: Sanna Savela / Yle

A young man from the southern Finnish municipality of Forssa appeared in the Häme District Court on Monday on charges of aggravated fraud as a minor on Monday over a scam that targeted a Malta online casino.

Now about 18 years old, the youngster allegedly took advantage of an IT glitch to register as a customer with a fake date of birth.

The casino's system was set up to give clients the option of cancelling the return of their funds so that the refund was paid into an online wallet as well as the customer's bank account.

Over the course of about a month he exploited the bug to transfer a total of more than 252,000 euros of the casino's funds to his bank accounts. Prosecutors claim the defendant had the casino send the refunds to his bank account 417 times between April and May 2017.

The young man's father and mother also face charges of money laundering in the case, with the father accused of aggravated money laundering.

An employee of the casino discovered the scam in July 2017.

Prosecutor: Stolen money in parents' accounts

The father allegedly had 14,000 euros of the stolen money in his personal bank account. The mother also had 2,300 euros her son had allegedly transferred to her account and was in possession of a motorcycle valued at over 5,000 euros purchased with the stolen funds, according to the prosecutor.

The prosecutor is calling for a 20-month prison sentence for the minor, a five-month suspended sentence for the father and a more lenient suspended sentence for the mother.

The Central Häme District Court is expected to rule on the case on 3 September.

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