"Issak completely abused his position as a trusted employee"
Hamzak Issak, aged 30, of Leicester, was jailed for five years and eight months after he stole almost £900,000 whilst working at HSBC.
He altered customer account details while working at a Leicester branch of HSBC between 2016 and 2018.
Enquiries showed a total of £896,645.05 was deposited into other accounts with the assistance and knowledge of Issak.
HSBC identified three customers who had seen payments made from their accounts without their knowledge or authority by either electronic funds transfer or bill payment.
The three victims were Nigerian and were in their home country at the time of the fraud.
On two occasions unidentified suspects entered the Leicester branch and had gone directly over to Issak, bypassing other staff.
Both suspects were then served by Issak who failed to follow company protocol on checking signatures.
One 85-year-old victim had £448,000 stolen.
When his employers wanted to know why he had made the transaction, Issak claimed the 85-year-old account holder had been into the branch to ask for the transaction to be made.
When the investigation was launched, Issak resigned and got a job with British Gas. He later became a cocaine dealer.
Issak was arrested after police smelled cannabis smoke coming from his BMW.
He was searched and found to have £500 worth of cocaine, £1,600 in cash, two mobile phones with details of calls to clients and other items including dealer bags, a cutting agent and electronic scales.
Officers later searched his home and found a broken taser.
Issak claimed he only sold the drugs to friends and family.
He also tried to persuade officers that most of the money was a present from a family member but he later abandoned that version of events.
Issak was later arrested for the bank fraud.
Issak pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by abuse of position and four counts under the Computer Misuse Act. He also admitted 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.
Leicester Crown Court heard that the 85-year-old man was given the full sum back, leaving HSBC out of pocket.
Judge Keith Raynor said it would have been a stressful time for the victim – who has since died – to be told that nearly half a million pounds had been stolen from his account by an employee of the bank he had entrusted his money with.
Michael Anning, representing Issak, said: “He had been using cannabis for some time.
“In June 2017 his grandfather passed away and he began to take cocaine. He was able to hold down a job but it did make him vulnerable – physically and emotionally.
“He allowed himself to be the inside man. He has returned to that law-abiding manifestation of himself.
“There is good in this man, despite the offences he has committed.”
Judge Raynor told Issak:
“Some people plainly put pressure on you. You knew exactly what you were doing.”
“It would have been very stressful [for the victim] for the bank to contact him and say that due to the actions of an employee of the bank nearly half a million pounds has been taken from your account.”
Issak was jailed for five years and eight months.
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 plead guilty to the offences he committed.”