Bank customer adviser who diverted £250,000 jailed

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A customer adviser who was facing issues at work fraudulently diverted £250,000 from an account and then took the afternoon off.

Gulam Hussain was employed by Barclays Bank in their call centre, providing advice and support for mortgage customers, but was due to see his supervisor about his attitude to work and absences, Andrew Stranex, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday.

When a customer rang in to say he had been advanced a £250,000 mortgage to buy a property sooner than he needed and asked for it to be taken back so he did not need to start making repayments too quickly, he was put through to Hussain.

After repeatedly stalling him, putting his call on hold and asking him to call back, Hussain diverted the money into an account opened by a crooked Polish man, Dawid Kiljanczyk and within half an hour withdrawals began to be made.

Sentencing five men yesterday, Judge Christopher Batty said it was clear Hussain was not the most dedicated member of staff. “I am satisfied during the early part of 2010 you had decided to breach the trust of your employers and steal a significant amount of money from them.”

Others were clearly involved in that plan because the Kiljanczyk account was opened in February and was already waiting when the right opportunity arose in May.

Once the £250,000 was transferred he and his “cohorts” clearly wanted to launder it quickly to put it out of the reach of Barclays.

Judge Batty said Hussain took the afternoon off and within minutes cash amounts began to be withdrawn from the account at cash points near to his work.

By the end of that day £57,000 had gone and he had sent in his resignation.

The following day the three other defendants went to a garage in Wilmslow and tried to use a credit card on the Kiljanczyk account to buy two cars, a BMW and a Golf worth £16,900.

“Unfortunately for you” Judge Batty told them ”the bank were made aware in the meantime what had happened and the garage were contacted and told of the fraud. Police were notified of your pending return and you were arrested.”

Hussain, 24, of Stratford Street, Leeds, was jailed for 26 months after he admitted conspiracy to steal.

Ruckshanda Hussain, representing him, said it was not a sophisticated offence and was now of some age.

Kiljanczyk, 23, of Ashton Terrace, Leeds was jailed for 15 months for the same offence. The court heard he is facing extradition to Poland to face dishonesty allegations in that country.

Mohammed Rashid, 33, of Meade Hill Road, Manchester, was given 12 months in prison suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work; Mohammed Younis, 43, of Birch Hall Lane, Manchester received 12 months in prison suspended for two years with 250 hours unpaid work; and Adrees Munir, 35, of Charlton Road, Manchester, was given nine month in prison suspended for two years with 250 hours unpaid work. They admitted conspiracy to convert criminal property.