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Bank fraudster jailed over £100,000 thefts

A Barclays Bank employee who set up a sophisticated system to defraud customers out of more than £100,000 has been jailed for two years and eight months.

Kerry Phizacklea, 44, who worked for Barclays in Barrow, Cumbria, had admitted theft and money laundering charges during an earlier hearing before Barrow Crown Court.

At the sentencing hearing at Barrow Crown Court , the scam set up by Phizacklea was described as “sophisticated and complex” by Judge Beverley Lunt.

Phizacklea had evaded bank security systems by taking only small amounts over a three-year period and by deliberately targeting older customers who would be less likely to check their account details.

She was also able to skim money off payments being made on Barclaycards, diverting the money to personal accounts she had set up.

Passing sentence, Judge Lunt told her: “These two schemes taken together show what a thoroughly calculating and dishonest woman you are. You were stealing this money systematically and could have stopped at any time. You didn’t.”

A proceeds of crime hearing is now likely to take place to ascertain Phizacklea’s assets and how much she can repay.

After the case, Barclays spokesman David Bruce said: “We have a zero-tolerance policy towards staff fraud. We spend a great deal of time and money protecting the interests of our customers and ourselves against the actions of would-be fraudsters. No priority comes higher.”

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