A former employee of Queen Coutts’ bank has been jailed for four years by a Sussex judge, after providing personal data to fraudsters posing as customers in an attempt to earn more than $ 2.3million pound sterling.
Luke Williams, 32, has admitted to a conspiracy to commit false representation fraud against the private bank, which counts the Queen among its wealthy clients.
Southwark Crown Court has learned that Williams worked as a senior client services agent between 2014 and 2017 for the Coutts 24 service, which provided 24-hour telephone banking.
Between January and October 2017, some 122 bank customers were targeted by fraudsters attempting to steal a total of £ 2,352,666, prosecutor Jacinta Stringer said.
“These are high impact breaches, with Coutts having suffered significant reputational damage due to the violation of their security processes,” she added.
The court heard that Williams had answered calls from each of the clients and had access to their personal data, including security matters, which he would sell to co-conspirators, including Francis Buckman, 35, and Ricky Burgess. , 31 years.
Fraudsters would then use this information to call Coutts 24, posing as customers of the bank in order to transfer funds from genuine accounts to third parties.
Coutts, which is owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, lost a total of around £ 1.2million, after recovering just over £ 307,000 after paying more than £ 1.5million in fraud-related accounts.
Judge David Tomlinson sentenced Williams, of Haywards Heath, West Sussex, to four years in prison on Monday.
Buckman and Burgess, both of Southend, Essex, were given prison terms of two years and 14 months respectively after also pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud.
The judge said: “The conspiracy involved multiple raids on bank accounts with healthy balances and caused a substantial loss at Coutts Bank, where you, Luke Williams, were employed at the material time.”
The court heard Buckman made 214 calls to Coutts 24, including while on vacation in Spain, with the aim of defrauding more than £ 133,000, with successful frauds worth £ 43,000.
Police recovered a Rolex watch and season tickets for Arsenal football club during a search of his home.
Burgess was responsible for £ 31,500 of the total fraud, of which £ 21,000 was recovered by Coutts and the remaining amount refunded, it was said.
A fourth defendant, Michael Sonowo, 36, of Romford, east London, was given a community order for 12 months, including 100 hours of unpaid work.
He pleaded guilty to possession of criminal property after his bank account received around £ 4,000 from the fraud.
Adam James, defending Williams, said his client’s involvement in the fraud stemmed from a gambling addiction, involving betting on horses, sporting events and casino games.
“There were no wealth traps or high spending, he was feeding the beast of addiction,” he said.
Detective Jeremy Boxall, of the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), a City of London and Metropolitan Police unit funded by the banking and card industry, said: “This was a Very sophisticated scam with these criminals using stolen customer account details committing over 1.2 million pounds of fraud.
“This case shows that anyone caught abusing the trust their employer places in them will be punished just like those who try to help them.”
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This notice was published: 2021-05-18 05:38:12