Saturday March 22,2014 : HULL BANKER STOLE GBP 220,000 FROM ELDERLY SAVERS
30-year-old lucky to escape with only a community service sentence.
The Hull Daily Mail reports that TSB Lloyds banking official Marc Burnett walked free from the Hull Crown Court this week, fortunate to be handed a community service sentence rather than immediate imprisonment for stealing GBP 226,588 from the accounts of six elderly customers over a period of five years.
Instead of advising his clients and helping them to grow their money, Burnett set up fake withdrawal orders and diverted cash to his own accounts between November 2008 and June 2013, when he was exposed whilst he was on leave.
He used some of the stolen money for online gambling, playing fruit machines and using the internet to bet on football and roulette, with typical stakes ranging from GBP 150 to GBP 4,000.
Prosecutor Phillip Evans told the court that the theft was not random, but a case of a trusted bank official deliberately selecting the best targets for his criminal activity
"The victims of these offences were people Mr Burnett was paid to advise, winning their confidence in a series of face-to-face meetings, telephone calls, at a time when he was swindling them out of their life savings," he said.
The court heard that Burnett, who earned a salary of GBP 2,000 a month from the bank, spent his entire wages on payday, took out loans and borrowed on credit cards before starting to plunder his customer's accounts.
His crimes were revealed when he had to take a mandatory two-week holiday from the bank and a colleague took over his accounts.
He admitted guilt and expressed remorse when confronted by a manager last year, and was currently attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings, the court was told.
Sentencing Burnett to a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, Recorder Jonathan Carroll told him: "What you have done drives a dagger into the heart of the banking system and the trust that people need to feel in the banking system, that their money and rewards for hard work in life have been saved.
"For you, the bigger impact, the bigger punishment and the bigger payback to society is what will follow if I suspend the sentence, and I do suspend the sentence."