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Bank worker jailed for stealing money from customers

JAILED: Liberty Staph

A FORMER bank employee who passed confidential details to criminals, which led to £67,000 being stolen from three customer accounts, has been jailed.

Liberty Staph, 27, was sentenced to 18 months in prison at Snaresbrook Crown Court last month after she pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by abuse of position.

Detectives from the Met’s Fraud and Linked Crime Online (FALCON) unit began an investigation in March 2016 after three of the bank’s customers had money removed from their accounts without their knowledge.

An internal investigation by HSBC identified that Staph had interacted with all three customers shortly before the withdrawals were made.

Staph, who worked in a HSBC contact centre and in a HSBC branch in central London, accessed the customers’ confidential data required to make changes to facilitate access to the accounts.

The security on the accounts was subsequently overridden and another defendant, Adam Chelfat, received money taken from one of the HSBC customers into his bank account.

The money was withdrawn by Chelfat as cash or foreign currency within a couple of days and then passed on to another account.

Chelfat was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months after he admitted two counts of money laundering.

Chelfat, who pleaded guilty at a hearing on September 3, must carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

Detective Constable Mark Cresswell, of the Met’s Fraud and Linked Crime Online (Falcon) unit, said: “Staph abused her position to fraudulently obtain money from HSBC customers who she was supposed to be helping. Her criminal actions were uncovered thanks to a comprehensive internal investigation by HSBC.

“The prison sentence received by Staph should act as a deterrent to any other bank employees considering any similar actions.”

All three victims were refunded in full by the bank.

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