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British Fraudster Walks Out Of Jail Using Forged Bail Letter

Wandsworth prison in south London in a 2010 photo. Neil Moore, a 28-year-old convicted fraudster, walked out of the prison earlier this month by showing guards a bail letter he'd forged.

Earlier this month, convicted fraudster Neil Moore showed prison authorities his bail letter and walked out the front gate of Britain's Wandsworth jail in south London.

There was only one thing wrong with the picture: the letter was a fake — an elaborate forgery produced by the 28-year-old inmate.

According to The Telegraph, Moore hatched the plan a year ago, using a mobile phone smuggled into the prison to set the scheme in motion:

"He set up an email domain imitating Her Majesty's Court Service (HMCTS) that used hyphens instead of 'dots' to say Southwark Crown Court had rubber-stamped his bail on March 10, 2014.

Moore, who was serving time for a [$2.7 million] fraud, managed to secure his release when staff failed to spot the subtle difference and misspelled court name 'Southwalk'."

That Moore had escaped, rather than be legitimately freed, only came to light later when his attorney showed up at the jail expecting to meet with him and found no one.

The Express writes:

"Investigators, helped by Homeland Security in America, later discovered that the website was set up using the name of Det Insp Chris Soole, the officer who had been investigating Moore.

"Ian Paton, prosecuting, said: 'Having been remanded in custody by the court ... he promptly set about adapting his skills for deceit, dishonesty and forgery and he engineered his escape.'"

Moore then decided to turn himself back in to authorities.

The Wandsworth jail is the same facility that Ronnie Biggs, the infamous Great Train robber, slipped out of 50 years earlier. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was also briefly jailed there.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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