A manager at the Natwest bank in Biggin Hill, England has pleaded guilty to fraud after stealing GBP 185,000 from the accounts of two elderly customers, Julie Amos (83) and Leslie Pilditch (92).
The since-dismissed manager, 56-year-old Glenn Mason, exacerbated his crimes by his unauthorised use of the identities of two of his colleagues to make the illegal transfers into his online poker accounts, causing innocent co-workers Julie Jeffrey (50) and James Cato (35) massive stress as a result of being fired and charged with fraud.
The charges against Jeffrey and Cato have since been dropped.
Sentencing a sobbing Mason to 15 months in jail, the judge, Recorder Simon Farrell QC, told him: ‘You stole roughly GBP185,000 over a period of a year from victims who were elderly and undoubtedly vulnerable.
“Your fellow worker Julie Jeffrey, who was falsely arrested because you used her ID details to steal the money, described how, having worked for NatWest since the age of 16, losing her job as a 50 year-old woman and being reduced to delivery leaflets in all weathers.‘
“Plainly these are very serious offences which everyone agrees cross the custody threshold.”
However, the judge noted that Mason was previously a person of good character, and that he had suffered great personal tragedy when his wife died of cancer and his teenaged son was badly injured whilst serving in the army in Afghanistan, and for this reason he was imposing only 15 months imprisonment.
“But for your personal mitigation this sentence would have been far longer,” the judge concluded.