A BRADFORD man has been spared jail for his part in an “utterly dishonest” conspiracy to defraud a bank of £380,000.

Mohammed Ramzan, 27, was sentenced to the maximum suspended sentence of two years and ordered to carry out the maximum number of unpaid work hours, 300, when he appeared before Bradford Crown Court.

Ramzan, of Northdale Road, Frizinghall, worked at the High Street branch of what was then Lloyds TSB in Keighley and handed bank account details to a third party to allow the fraud to take place, the court heard.

Those details were then passed on to co-accused Mary Flaherty, who posed as an account holder on two occasions, and in the first instance was able to transfer £180,000 as well as withdraw £10,000 in cash.

Both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud. Flaherty, 50, of Halston Close, Wandsworth, did not attend the hearing and will be sentenced at a later date.

Ben Campbell, prosecuting, said of Ramzan: “This defendant was the inside man at the bank.”

He described how Ramzan had accessed bank accounts for “no legitimate reason”, before passing their details on.

Sent messages were recovered on his mobile, he added, containing other customers’ bank details, indicating “future potential victims”, he said.

He said Flaherty had entered the Horley branch of Lloyds TSB on May 21, 2013, posing as an account holder and used a forged driving licence photocard and provided a “sufficiently similar” signature. She was able to take out £190,000 from a customer’s account.

Mr Campbell added that on May 31, Flaherty entered a Lloyds TSB branch in Keighley, where Ramzan worked, posing as a different account holder. Again she asked for a £180,000 transfer and £10,000 in cash.

A member of staff, aware of the earlier fraud, checked the ID used in Horley and realised the photos were the same.

Flaherty was arrested before any money could be transferred. No direct link was found between the two defendants.

Mohammed Nawaz, for Ramzan, said investigators believed his client was “a pawn in a much larger fraud”.

He had been very naive, he added, using his everyday phone, not attempting to delete the texts, and although he had been due to receive £500 for each transaction, he in fact received nothing.

“What he was promised was a staggeringly low sum given the level of fraud, abuse of position, and risks that he took, perhaps showing his naivety,” Mr Nawaz told the court.


In sentencing, Judge Colin Burn said: “You are being sentenced for your part in what was a much larger fraud, but it was a fraud which was playing for high stakes and you played your part which could have led to the theft of £380,000.

“As it happens £190,000 was lost by Lloyds TSB, where you were employed at the time.

“It was lost because you had provided information about the bank accounts which had significant sums of money in them.”

As well as the suspended sentence and unpaid hours, Ramzan’s community order also includes up to 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.