Neil Moore was locked up in England's notorious Wandsworth Prison when he used a smuggled cellphone to send an email to the prison that appeared to come from a court clerk who was ordering his release on parole.
The prison figured out what had happened three days later when his lawyer showed up to interview him and he was gone. He turned himself in to the police three days after that. Moore is a convicted fraudster who stole £1.8M with social engineering techniques, including a gift for voice impersonation.
Southwark Crown Court heard he had set up a fake web domain which closely resembled that of the court service's official address.
He then emailed the prison's custody inbox with instructions for his release.
The court heard Moore registered the bogus website in the name of investigating officer Det Insp Chris Soole, giving the address and contact details for the Royal Courts of Justice.
Prosecutor Ian Paton said: "A lot of criminal ingenuity harbours in the mind of Mr Moore. The case is one of extraordinary criminal inventiveness, deviousness and creativity, all apparently the developed expertise of this defendant".
The judge, Recorder David Hunt QC, described the behaviour as "ingenious" criminality.