Savers with large balances in accounts they no longer use should consider regularly checking these in future as fraudsters have this week been found guilty of targeting dormant accounts.
Four former employees of the bank formerly known as Lloyds TSB have been collectively jailed for over 20 years after defrauding millions of pounds from customers.
The sophisticated fraud, which took place between November 2012 and August 2013, saw the scammers target dormant bank accounts with large balances – some with millions of pounds in.
The conspirators would change customers’ details and then impostors posing as the owners of the accounts would transfer the money out. The money would then be laundered and sent offshore to become untraceable.
The first victim lost more than £750,000 over three days. In this instance, the former employees changed the customer’s address before issuing a new card to a new address. An impostor with a fake driving licence then entered the Kings Cross (London) branch of the bank and asked to set up a transfer. Staff accepted the fake licence and transferred the money, even though the customer’s home branch was Clapham (also in London), and not Kings Cross.
A Lloyds Banking Group spokesperson comments: “The Group has a zero tolerance policy towards illegal behaviour and will always cooperate fully with the authorities. The Group has also ensured that no customer has been left out of pocket.”
The four former Lloyds TSB employees involved in the scam - Courtney Ayinbode, Tajinder Galsinh, Molly Jones, and Benjamin Omoregie - have been sentenced to jail this week.
Mr Ayinbode was convicted of conspiracy to defraud between 9 November 2012 and 8 August 2013 and sentenced to five years in jail. Mr Galsinh was convicted of the same offence and jailed for six years.
Mr Omoregie and Ms Jones pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud Lloyds TSB between 9 November 2012 and 8 August 2013. Ms Jones was sentenced to five years in jail, and Mr Omoregie four.
The judge, Anuja Ravindra Dhir QC, in her verdict spoke to the former Lloyds’ employees directly. She said: “You had access to valuable, sophisticated client information, you abused the trust your employers placed in you – you passed on that information and compromised the bank accounts. You all knew that money would be dishonestly transferred from client accounts as a result of your actions.
Such was the sophistication of this fraud that the money was money was [sic] dissipated and spent in a professional and organised manner… You were motivated by financial gain.”
The money launderers involved in the scam - Parvez Hussain, Eddie Lakes, and Kushveer Raulia – also all received jail terms.
Lloyds Banking Group split its Lloyds TSB arm into two separate banks – Lloyds Bank and TSB – in September 2013. TSB was later sold and is no longer part of Lloyds Banking Group.