Barclays bank workers jailed for £1.3m fraud

(From L to R): Karl Edwards, Andrew Waters, Nathan Denton and Joseph Murphy All four men pleaded guilty to fraud at Birmingham Crown Court

Two Barclays Bank workers have been jailed at Birmingham Crown Court for defrauding three elderly customers of £1.3m.

Karl Edwards, 44, who worked at Barclays in Birmingham, and Andrew Waters, 26, based at a Croydon branch, were each sentenced to five years.

They used inside knowledge to pose as the relations of customers who held dormant accounts.

Two other men, not Barclays employees, helped move the money offshore.

All four men admitted fraud.

Joseph Murphy, 36, from Carshalton, Surrey, was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison, and Nathan Denton, 37, from Water Orton, Staffordshire, got four-and-a-half years.

The court heard that Waters had identified two large accounts, held by customers in their 80s, that had been dormant for a number of years.

Edwards then used his more senior position to help set up access.

'Slickly run'

The men then posed as relations of the account-holders, using fake passports and false bank accounts, the court heard.

About £900,000 was removed from a joint account held by a couple, while £400,000 was taken from an account held by a woman.

Only £51,000 has been recovered.

The prosecution said the operation was "slickly run and rapidly achieved".

The court heard how Murphy and Waters had helped move the money "rapidly offshore".

West Midlands Police said all four men were identified from information held on their computers and mobile phones.

Det Con Simon Hughes said the men had been arrested in May 2006, although Murphy had breached the terms of his bail and fled the country.

He was rearrested in May 2010 at Los Angeles Airport.

Det Con Hughes said: "The bankers deliberately targeted elderly wealthy victims who rarely checked their bank accounts. One victim had not been to the bank for over 20 years.

"The bankers used their position of trust and access to confidential customer information as a vital link in the fraud."

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