HSBC clerk gets nine years for attempted £72m fraud

HSBC clerk gets nine years for attempted £72m fraud

A former HSBC clerk who tried to steal £72 million from the bank in a massive electronic fraud has been sentenced to nine years in jail.

Jagmeet Channa, 25, from Ilford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. He was sentenced to seven and a half years for the fraud charge and nine years for money laundering, to run concurrent, by a judge at Southwark Crown Court.

The court was told that in April Channa stole passwords from colleagues at HSBC's Canary Wharf headquarters. He then used the details to send EUR60 million from an HSBC trading account to Morocco before minutes later wiring a further EUR30 million to a branch of Barclays in Manchester.

However, Channa forgot to leave the account with a zero balance and the massive negative figure was spotted by bank staff in Malaysia who informed colleagues in London.

The bank contacted City of London police on 25 April and an investigation was launched. HSBC also informed Barclays and the bank in Morocco, leading to the retrieval of all the funds.

Police believe Channa was the inside man for the fraud, following orders from fellow conspirators in return for a cut of the proceeds, although no other person has been identified.

Sentencing Channa, Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC said: "This was a carefully planned and very serious attempt to transfer a fortune in money away, and it almost succeeded...The evidence against you is quite overwhelming."

DI Richard Fisher, economic crime department, City of London Police, says the sentence "sends a strong message to other financial services staff who may be tempted to abuse their position that they will be caught and can expect a tough sentence".

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