A former bank employee has been jailed after fraudulently transferring almost £1 million out of customers’ accounts.
Hamzah Issak pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by abuse of position and three counts under the Computer Misuse Act at Leicester Crown Court in July last year.
The 30-year-old of Apollo Court, Leicester was sentenced to five years and six months in prison at the same court today (Friday 13 May).
Issak was employed by HSBC and worked at their Leicester branch between 2016 and 2018.
HSBC identified three of their customers had been victims of account takeover fraud and payments have been made from their accounts without their knowledge or authority by either electronic funds transfer or bill payment.
All three victims, who are Nigerian, were in their home country at the time the transactions were taking place within the UK.
The bank’s investigation found that Issak had accessed all three accounts several times without any reason to do and made changes to personal details to allow the account to be used by someone other than the originating account holder.
On two occasions unidentified suspects entered the Leicester branch and had gone directly over to the defendant bypassing any queues or other available Customer Services Advisers. Both suspects were then served by the defendant who failed to follow company protocol on checking of signatures.
Issak was questioned by HSBC in early January 2018 after the first victim had been identified. However, before HSBC could complete their investigation by the end of the month after identifying a further two victims, he had resigned.
Enquiries identified that a total of £896,645.05 was deposited into beneficiary accounts with the assistance and knowledge of Issak.
Police were notified by the bank of their investigation and a subsequent criminal investigation by officers followed. This resulted in Issak’s arrest and with the evidence gathered, he was charged to appear at court.
He was also pleaded guilty at court to charges of possession with intent to supply class A drugs, possession of a weapon for the discharge of an electrical incapacitation device and possession of criminal property after a quantity of cocaine with a street value of almost £700, a stun gun and £1,600 cash were found in his car in December 2019.
Detective Constable Jo Lockton, who investigated the fraud, said: “Issak completely abused his position as a trusted employee of the bank using his access to view and change significant personal details of innocent customers for his own financial gain.
“Thankfully the bank carried out a thorough investigation and acted quickly. They were able to trace the accounts that he had accessed and prove money had been fraudulently taken which only strengthened our case against him.
The vast amount of evidence gained left Issak with little choice but to the plead guilty to the offences he committed.”
Leicestershire Police News