Taminder Virdi among 3 jailed in UK for bank fraud
Essex-based Taminder Virdi is among three individuals sentenced to terms in jail after defrauding elderly bank customers of more than £390,000 and laundering the cash through multiple fake accounts, officials said on Tuesday.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) said Virdi, 33, and Abubakar Salim, 36, who both worked at the same TSB branch in Stoke Newington in 2014, transferred funds out of customer accounts into 65 fraudulent beneficiary accounts they had opened.
The accounts were controlled by accountant Babar Hussain, 40. NCA officers were alerted to their activity when one of the eight victims (all in their 70s) reported that £56,000 had been transferred out of the bank account without consent. That money went into seven beneficiary accounts opened in different names.
Hussain was arrested in July 2016 and officers recovered a number of fraudulently obtained genuine driving licenses, which Virdi and Salim used along with fake gas and electric bills to open the beneficiary accounts.
When he was interviewed, Hussain claimed that part of his work in the community involved opening and managing bank accounts for those just arriving in the UK with no fixed address. Messages on his phone identified other victims of fraud, where Virdi and Salim abused their position within the bank.
Virdi was arrested in November 2016 and Salim in May 2017. At the time of Virdi’s arrest, he had left TSB having resigned following an internal investigation into his fraudulent activities and was working for Santander.
Investigations found that Virdi continued offending whist employed at Santander. He was immediately suspended following his arrest and Santander fully supported the NCA’s investigation. Salim was also subject to an internal investigation at TSB and dismissed.
Virdi and Salim were found guilty following a six-week trial at Blackfriars Crown Court, and were sentenced to three years and six months and four years respectively. Hussain pleaded guilty to all offences and was jailed for five years and four months.
NCA’s Mike Hulett said: “Hussain is a professional money launderer who used his accountancy knowledge to steal hundreds of thousands of pounds from elderly banking customers”.
“He was aided by two corrupt bank workers who abused their positions of trust, using false documents to set up bank accounts to launder the hard earned savings of their unsuspecting victims”.