Two former cashiers have been jailed after defrauding almost £150,000 from mostly elderly Barclays customers, including raiding tens of thousands from a dead man.
Waseem Ahmed, 22, of Lismore Park, Slough, and Hodaif Nadeem, 22, of Telford Drive, Slough, who worked as apprentice cashiers at Barclays branches in Slough and Bracknell, syphoned the money between April and May 2017.
They moved the money into “mule” accounts, but also handed thousands from customer accounts to people who were clearly not the accounts’ owners over the counter.
In July 2017, they opened up accounts in different banks that were unused until September that year, when Ahmed’s were used to funnel £29,030 in stolen money.
When he tried to move £40,000 from a dead customer’s account, Barclays began an investigation and Thames Valley Police became involved.
Detective Constable Rob Gibson said: “As bank employees they were meant to look after the interests of the bank and its customers; their actions completely betrayed that trust and caused distress to a number of customers.
“Although the means used to select their victims was never established, they were generally elderly and, or based overseas customers. Ahmed and Nadeem had full access to customers’ bank accounts and there was nothing that the victims could have done to prevent their accounts being defrauded.
“The most despicable act concerned Ahmed who raided the bank account of a man whom he knew was deceased, thereby holding up probate for his grieving relatives.”
Ahmed was arrested in August 2017. By then, he had managed to gain login details for a former colleague, which he planned to use for further frauds.
However, the colleague alerted the bank, which prevented more customers from being affected.
DC Gibson said: “Despite being caught out by their employers and despite having been arrested on 8 August 2017, Ahmed committed further offences by allowing bank accounts he held in his name to be used to funnel several thousand pounds worth of stolen funds.
“It was clear the accounts owned by Nadeem had been opened for the same purpose.
“During the trial Ahmed and Nadeem both claimed they were under duress while committing these offences, but this was rejected by the jury who found them unanimously guilty. The defendants had ample opportunity to tell the police if they were being threatened, yet they did not raise this as a defence until January this year.
“I would like to thank the staff at Barclays Special Investigations team whose hard work and co-operation was instrumental in securing the convictions for fraud.”
Nadeem was arrested in January 2018, and the pair were charged in August this year.
Ahmed was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to transfer criminal property by means of fraudulent money transfers and unauthorised access to a computer after an eight-day trial in November.
He was given four and a half years behind bars at Reading Crown Court on Friday.
Nadeem was sentenced to three and a half years after being found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to transfer criminal property by means of fraudulent money transfers.
A Barclays spokeswoman said: “Protecting our customers’ money is our top priority and we have a zero tolerance approach to fraud.
“As in this case, we continue to provide every assistance to the local police to enable them to prosecute suspected fraudsters.”