7:10am Saturday 16th June 2012
By Michael Black
A commercial manager based at a Bradford bank has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after he authorised overdrafts totalling £750,000 in just 14 minutes.
Amanjeet Singh, who worked at the HSBC bank in Market Street, over-rode its systems to set up £150,000 overdraft facilities for five separate companies.
Another man allegedly involved in the fraud was cleared following a trial, but Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that within three weeks of the overdrafts being authorised almost £680,000 had been transferred to other non-HSBC accounts.
Prosecutor Mark McKone said Singh, 42, had entered an acceptance code on the suspended applications to over-ride earlier refusals for much smaller overdrafts.
The court heard it took only 14 minutes for Singh to authorise the overdrafts and allow access to three-quarters of a million pounds.
“The heart of the fraud is Mr Singh knew the HSBC would not have allowed it if they knew the true picture,” said Mr McKone.
He said the overdrafts were outside Singh’s authority and he had not sought approval for them.
On the day he organised the overdrafts in March 2010 Singh handed in a letter of resignation from the bank where he had worked since 1997.
Mr McKone said soon after the overdrafts were set up Singh himself received payments totalling almost £70,000.
Married father-of-one Singh, of Ederoyd Grove, Pudsey, pleaded guilty to the fraud charge and Judge Potter was told his career was now in ruins.
Mr McKone said the HSBC had been able to recover most of the money, but about £275,000 was still outstanding.
Singh’s barrister Yogain Chanderana said it was not a case involving fancy holidays and expensive nights out and Singh’s family now lived a very simple and modest life.
He said his client had ruined the career he had worked at for many years and would never be able to go back into that field again.
“He has effectively destroyed everything by his actions,” said Mr Chanderana.
Judge Potter said Singh had been in a position of significant responsibility within the bank dealing with a portfolio of commercial clients.
“You were at the time of this fraud in a position of considerable trust at the bank,” the judge told him.
“You breached that trust. You abused your position.
“You appreciate, I know, that those who behave as you did must face the prospect of, and will receive, immediate custodial sentences.”
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