A failed footballer who helped fraudsters steal nearly £30,000 from a customer while working for Barclays Bank has been jailed for 14 months.
Ike Irechukwu, 25, became a customer service adviser at the bank’s Walthamstow, East London, branch after he was dropped by League Two club Stevenage FC.
The Old Bailey heard that Irechukwu blew his ill-gotten gains on expensive trainers and fashionable clothes.
The scam involved Irechukwu, from Enfield, North London, abusing his position in order to supply confidential details to his accomplices.
Prosecutor Nathan Rasiah said: “Customers were impersonated on the telephone and banking passes were ordered.
“Those telephone banking passes were intercepted in the post and the new telephone banking pass was used to order new savings accounts, order new cards or PIN numbers so that fraudulent transac-tions could take place.”
A customer lost £29,600, although the crooks were thwarted in raiding another six accounts by the bank’s internal software.
Irechukwu was arrested on 29 May last year after an internal audit revealed he was the link between all of the frauds. Jailing him for 14 months, Judge John Bevan QC told him: “It is a gross breach of trust. Those employed by banks are paid to exercise an honest outlook towards the hand that feeds them and towards the customers whose money is entrusted to them.”
Irechukwu admitted seven counts of fraud by abuse of position at a hearing last month, but has not identified his accomplices. He was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment for the successful fraud and 12 months for each of the other six counts, to be served concurrently.
After civil proceedings Irechukwu was ordered to pay back £1,700, having already repaid £3,000 from the sale of a car.