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Faudster used bank customer’s details to transfer money out of account
A bank worker, who stole £150,000 from the account of a professor, committed a gross breach of trust, a Court heard yesterday.
Juned Ali, 26, of Coppy Close, Cottingley, Bingley, a customer service employee with the NatWest, now the Royal Bank of Scotland, hacked into David Lodge’s account after the professor inadvertently disclosed his password and pin number to him.
Jailing Ali, at Bradford Crown Court, for two and a half years, Recorder Mark Bury told Ali: “You, in a very high degree of trust, breached it by behaving in this way over a period of time.”
Four other defendants, who allowed their bank accounts to be used to obtain fraudulent money, were given 12-month community orders.
Prosecutor Denise Breen-Lawton said Ali, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud, was at the centre of the case. At the time of the conspiracy, in 2008, he worked at a call centre for the bank. Prof Lodge called on June 17 of that year, and during a conversation with Ali, let slip his account details.
Miss Breen-Lawton said Ali then made numerous checks on the professor’s accounts, which he had no legitimate reason for doing. A number of calls were made to the bank’s service, where the caller claimed to be Prof Lodge, but it was not him.
The prosecutor said more than £150,000 was transferred from the professor’s accounts to third party accounts of more than 30 people.
The conspiracy came to light when Prof Lodge opened his bank statement in September of that year and found a number of unauthorised transactions.
Larissa Dyson, 21, a hairdresser, of Ash Street, Cleckheaton, who admitted conspiracy to defraud, and Tendai Charinga, 26, of Holborn Towers, Leeds, who wants to be a nurse, were ordered to do 150 hours’ unpaid work.
Mlalazi Sikhumbuzo, 25, of Holdforth Place, Leeds, and Benjamin Stokes, 23, of Roseneath Road, Bolton, were ordered to do 120 hours’ unpaid work.