Leicester bank cashier Suraj Bhandal is £45k fraudster
A bank cashier who stole customers' identities to get his hands on £45,000 of credit has been jailed for 18 months.
Suraj Bhandal (27) opened 12 bogus accounts with overdrafts and credit cards while working at a branch of Santander in Leicester.
He had stolen personal details during an earlier job at another bank and backed up his deception using false passports.
Once the accounts were open, he used them to buy luxury items including designer jewellery. Some of the credit cards were also used in a separate scam to pay for petrol for Leicester taxi drivers.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Bhandal, of Englefield Road, Evington, Leicester, admitted 12 counts of fraud and was jailed at the Old Bailey.
Mr Recorder Oliver Sells QC said: "The public is entitled to expect that employees of clearing banks are people who are trustworthy and their accounts will not be opened in false names and their identities will not be stolen.
"These are aggravating features of what are already serious offences."
Bhandal used his position to run the scam a dozen times between July and December 2010, selecting victims who had excellent credit records.
Prosecutor Nicola Merrick said: "That was important. It allowed Santander to open the accounts and provide that person with a credit and debit card."
At least two of the identities he used had accounts with Halifax/Bank of Scotland, where Bhandal had previously worked. "Once the file was completed, some of the personal details were changed and the bank documents sent out to the new address," said Ms Merrick.
Each account was opened with an overdraft of up to £3,000 and most had credit cards attached.
"The total amount obtained was £45,000," said Ms Merrick.
Some of the cards were also used to buy petrol for taxi drivers at a knock-down price.
Suspicions were raised and Bhandal was arrested at his home on March 9, 2011, following an investigation by City of London Police's dedicated cheque and plastic crime unit.
Another man was arrested in connection with this part of the scam, but skipped bail before he could be brought before the court.
No mitigation for Bhandal was given in open court.