Barclays banker jailed for raiding customer accounts

A Barclays bank employee has been sentenced to 14 months in jail after pleading guilty to taking £17,000 from customers’ accounts through fraudulent transactions.

On November 16, Barclays personal banker Ajay Gaindher admitted a series of fraud offences at a hearing at Leicester Crown Court.

On more than 40 occasions, Gaindher deliberately transferred a total of £17,000 from clients’ accounts into his own.

Prosecutor Mark Bishop said the money had been taken primarily from an account belonging to a retired couple in “a complicated transfer process”.

Details of the process were not given in court.

Defence barrister Isobel Wilson said that while Gaindher had used the money to pay off debts, there had also been pressure from third parties.

Wilson said: “Initially, he was approached by associates. I am not saying he was under duress. The idea was put to him and then he went on the transfer the money to pay his debts.

“He had worked at the bank since March 2005 and he lost his job in July 2009 as a result of these offences.”

Passing sentence on Gaindher, Judge Michael Pert said: “You were in a trusted position and you abused that trust in order to divert funds on more than 40 occasions through a network of accounts.

“These offences strike at the heart of the banking system. We have to be able to trust people to whom we have entrusted our money.”

Barclays has refunded the defrauded clients in full.

Following sentencing, Barclays issued a statement that said: “We employ 60,000 people in the UK and staff fraud is rare. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards staff fraud. Where any employee involvement is suspected, individuals will be suspended, investigated and, where there is evidence of misconduct, dismissed.”