Criminals behind £217K scam jailed for total of 55 months

Source: UK Finance

Two criminals from London have been sentenced at Inner London Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiring together to commit £217,000 of fraud.

The sentencing, on 15 October 2021, followed a successful investigation by the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), a specialist police unit sponsored by the banking and finance industry that investigates the criminals responsible for fraud.

Former bank employee, Mohamed Jhakir Hussain, 28, of Westminster, London, abused his position at a bank branch in Edgware to access two customers’ bank accounts between June 2018 and August 2019.

Hussain’s accomplice, Sebastio Sala, 32, of Greenwich, London, provided him with customer bank account details and asked him to find the phone numbers for those accounts.

CCTV footage from the bank showed Hussain meeting two unknown individuals who purported to be the genuine account holders, whereby they transferred £50,000 from one customer account - of which £25,000 was paid into Sala’s account. Hussain then accessed a separate customer account from which £120,000 was later fraudulently debited by an unknown individual. Six further amounts from separate accounts were transferred by Hussain making the total £217,133.70.

The fraud was spotted by the bank and referred to the DCPCU to investigate the case. The money was retrieved by the bank and all victims were fully refunded.

Hussain received 28 months imprisonment for conspiring to commit fraud by abuse of position while Sala received 27 months imprisonment for conspiring to commit fraud by abuse of position.

Ben O’Shea, Detective Constable of the DCPCU, commented:

These criminals acted with impunity and thought they could get away with committing thousands of pounds worth of fraud. Hussain abused his position of trust to access bank accounts from unsuspecting customers.

“This case shows that anyone who is caught abusing the trust placed in them by their employer will be punished along with those who try to help them."

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