A man who tricked phone companies out of more than £500,000 after he found a way to top up mobile phone sim cards without paying has been jailed.
Damian Cornish, 27, pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading and admitted he had found a way to top up sim cards without providing payment.
Bristol Crown Court heard he originally fleeced Reading-based Hutchinson 3G just for himself, but he soon started selling the “dirty” sim cards to customers on eBay.
Cornish, from Bristol, pocketed more than £40,000 from the scheme which the judge described as “sophisticated”.
Julian Howells, prosecuting, said: “It transpired that a way had been found of bypassing payment online.
“Topped-up sims were being obtained without payment. It was a large scale matter and the total value was £500,000.”
Sentencing him to 12 months behind bars, Recorder Adrian Palmer QC said: “It was developed by you into a sophisticated scheme.
“It is not a matter which the court can overlook.”