News and Views
Bank worker stole signatures of 150 clients and sold them to criminal gang in £400,000 fraud but is spared jail because she has children
A NatWest banking officer who sold wealthy customers’ details to criminals running a £400,000 fraud was spared jail because she has two young children.
Lekeshia Henry-Richards, 28, stole signatures of around 150 clients of the exclusive private banking service based in the City of London.
The information was used by a gang of swindlers to go on spending sprees at Apple and Selfridges stores in Beirut, Marseilles and London. One customer lost more than £130,000 before the scam was stopped in April this year.
The mother from Leytonstone, east London, was spared time in prison because of her two young children, aged eight years and 18 months.
She was sentenced at London’s Old Bailey to two years in jail suspended for two years – and ordered to carry out 90 hours of unpaid work.
Judge Gerald Gordon said: ‘You were convicted by the jury of conspiring with other people to commit fraud upon your employer NatWest bank, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland, by abusing your position as relationship advisor dealing with high value accounts at the branch in the City.
‘Between March and November 2011 you obtained details, mainly customer signatures, which you supplied to others for them to use in persuading the bank that customer change of address notifications were genuine when they were in fact fraudulent.
‘Credit cards, PIN and cheque books were sent and as a result of those details fraudsters could make use of the accounts and the resulting fraud netted the conspirators something in excess of £400,000.’
He added: ‘The reality seems to be that you got yourself into this for some reason, perhaps after some attempt to avoid it, and those you were supplying the information to had a strong hold over you. Your prolonged criminal conduct cost your employer a very large sum of money.