TWO Lloyds Bank customer service advisers stole £42,000 from customers in a telephone scam, a court heard.
Adam Lorgat and Saad Hussain duped a total of 45 customers during the fraud conspiracy while working at the Lovell Park call centre in Leeds.
Leeds Crown Court heard customers would make genuine calls to the bank seeking assistance and they were asked for account details, including a sort code and security numbers.
Lorgat and Hussain then recorded customers’ details and passed them on to others who then made fraudulent calls to the bank.
Those callers then used an automated system and used the details to request sums of money to be transferred into other accounts.
The court heard the gang “recruited” vulnerable people who were willing to have funds transferred into their bank accounts.
Among those who agreed to have funds moved into their accounts were students from Kirklees College.
Sums were later withdrawn from banks and cash machines before being handed over to the gang.
The offending took place over a three month period in 2014.
The deception came to light after Lloyds became aware of the deception and contacted police.
Lorgat was arrested in December 2014 and scraps of paper containing customer bank details were found in his possession.
Lorgat and Husain pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position.
Lorgat, 24, of Bradford Road, Fartown, Huddersfield, was jailed for two years, 11 months.
Hussain, 26, of Summerlands Grove, Bradford was jailed for two years, five months.
Five other men were jailed for a total of 13 years, nine months over their roles in the conspiracy.
Victims of the fraud described being shocked and angry after being told of the deception.
Others described now being scared of using the telephone banking system.
Detective Inspector Phil Jackson, of Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit, said: “Lorgat and Hussain abused their positions of trust as bank employees to carry out a determined and carefully orchestrated fraud that saw tens of thousands of pounds stolen from customers’ accounts.
“They enlisted the help of the others who recruited a number of vulnerable individuals to give the gang access to the funds they were fraudulently transferring into their accounts.
“Their activities were first flagged up by the bank’s internal security processes and a complex and protracted police investigation followed that has seen these men brought to justice and sentenced to more than eighteen years in prison.
“We hope their convictions will send a very clear deterrent message to others who involve themselves in frauds of this nature and highlight the serious penalties they can expect.”