Bank clerks accused of £2m fraud involving Lloyds TSB

The Oxford Times: Bank clerks accused of £2m fraud involving Lloyds TSB Bank clerks accused of £2m fraud involving Lloyds TSB

THREE bank clerks were involved in a £2m scam using a high-tech computer, the Old Bailey has heard.

Tai Hulbert-Thomas, 27, of Carlton Road, Oxford, was one of three Lloyds TSB employees who allegedly made a series of transfers using stolen log-in details while working for the banking group.

He is on trial alongside Neil Bautista, 22, of Northumberland Road, Maidenhead, and Mawli Thurairajah, 30, of Moelyn Mews, Harrow.

They are accused of installing a device on a colleague’s computer to steal private details to make fraudulent transfers.

The alleged conspiracy, totalling £2,036,500, took place from July to September 2012 in Halifax branches in Berkshire and north London, the court was told yesterday. Prosecutor James Thacker said: “This case is a fraud case, in particular a bank fraud.

“It involves three fraudulent actions on Lloyds banking group through a technological device that was placed on to the internal account work station in three Halifax branches – Slough, Newbury and Camden.

“The device allowed remote access into the secure banking systems that led to fraudulent transfers being made by the criminal group, causing significant loss to the bank.”

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He added: “Although over £2m was intended to be obtained, the loss to the bank was just over £440,000.”

He said all three defendants were bank employees and added: “Due to the unusual method of the criminality and the technological findings about this device it left footprints which we can look at.”

In August 2012 the Halifax branch manager in Slough was made aware of a suspicious transaction of £50,000 into a customer's account, the court heard.

Mr Thacker said a total of 13 accounts had received fraudulent credits totalling £605,000.

He said: “All the transfers had taken place that day between 5.59am and 7.15am – a time when the branch was closed.”

An internal investigation found that a rogue ‘USB mouse, keyboard and mass storage’ device had been planted on one of the computers at the branch, it is claimed.

The unit was in fact a bug that allowed remote access to the computer through the internet.

Hulbert-Thomas, who is said to have made fraudulent payments totaling £627,500, is charged with two counts of fraud by abuse of position involving installing a device to harvest employee log-in details and make fraudulent transfers.

Bautista is accused of making fraudulent payments to a total of £605,000 and of allowing another person to install a device on the bank’s computer.

Thurairajah faces a single charge of making fraudulent payments totaling £804,000.

The three men deny the charges.

The trial continues.

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