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Sentence for pregnant former Santander worker in bank fraud

Sentence for pregnant former Santander worker in bank fraud

A Santander bank worker who helped hackers in their bid to steal more than £1.25m has been jailed for three years.

The Old Bailey heard that personal adviser Tola Ore, 32, fitted a keyboard video mouse to her work station to allow fraudsters to take control of her desktop from a computer outside the bank.

The unknown fraudsters then attempted to deposit £1,274,000 into 12 different bank accounts in just one morning on 23 July 2013.

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But the suspicious transactions were spotted by another member of staff at the bank’s Palmers Green branch in north London, and Santander only suffered actual losses of £147,678, the Old Bailey heard.

Eight-months pregnant Ore admitted her part in the scam, claiming the masterminds of the fraud had threatened her two-year-old daughter and warned her: “We are going to put you in the coffin.”

Edmund Fowler, prosecuting, said the scam was spotted on 23 July 2013 after more than £1.25m was deposited into 12 Santander bank accounts before the branch’s opening time, sparking an investigation and search of the premises.

Ore had worked for the bank for six years and had her own office by the time of the fraud. An audit revealed the fraudulent deposits had been made from Ore’s computer.

She was arrested on 23 July and initially denied knowledge of the fraud. She had insisted she was innocent right up to the start of her trial.

Sam Robinson, defending, said there was evidence Ore and her four-year-old daughter had been threatened by others involved in the scam, none of whom have been caught.

“There was pressure being brought to bear in order for her to give up her details,” he said. “Had she had a choice about it, that is the last thing she would have done.”

Judge Richard Marks QC, the Common Serjeant of London, offered Ore the chance to give evidence after first hearing her explanation, saying: “I have serious reservations about what I have been told. This account came the Friday before the Monday of the trial, a year-and-a-half after the event, and in terms of credibility which is central, she has lied throughout.”

Ore, of Edmonton, north London, admitted a single count of fraud. She is expected to serve half of the three-year jail sentence.