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C&G manager is jailed for stealing mortgage cheques

A Cheltenham & Gloucester branch manager has been jailed for a year for stealing £40,000 in customers’ mortgage repayment cheques and paying them into her own accounts.

Irina Bartlett, 37, who worked at C&G’s Beast Market Hill branch in Nottingham, admitted a series of theft charges when she appeared before Nottingham Crown Court.

The court was told that when customers paid cheques into the bank to cover their mortgage she would select certain cheques and pay them into one of three personal C&G accounts that she had opened.

She was able to keep the fraud running for two and a half years by stealing from a wide variety of customers and only taking small amounts, prosecutor Peter Walmsley told the court.

However, the scam unrav- elled in 2007 when she was on holiday and a mortgage broker asked for a cheque to be returned.

A search of accounts at the branch was unable to find the cheque and when a co-worker opened a drawer in Bartlett’s desk and found the three chequebooks, internal company investigators were called in.

The court then heard that Bartlett was dismissed, the police were alerted and charges were brought. In mitigation, it was said Bartlett had not lived the high life but had used the money for everyday living. It was added that she was now receiving counselling and that most of the money could be repaid from an inheritance she had received.

But Judge Michael Stokes said he had no alternative to jailing her as she was in a position of trust and her offences amoun- ted to “persistent, deliberate dishonesty.”


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There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Can anyone explain how this can happen? Surely a cheque made payable to C&G (or anyone else for that matter) cannot simply be made in to an unrelated account (e.g. Ms Bartlett’s) – where are the controls?

  2. Common problem?

  3. I’ve just recently had a case where Nationwide declined a case and when the cheque for survey was sent back to the client (in her name), it was intercepted and cashed by a person unknown. Nationwide have found out that it was cashed in a branch of Halifax. We are still trying to work out though how someone can cash a cheque that is in someone elses name!

  4. How can that happen????

    So much for cheuqes being made to that person not being able to be cashed by anyone else!! – Who pays by cheque anyhow these days?????

  5. Maybe someone from the building society/banking world would like to confirm that cashiers no longer check the name of the payee. Nor do they check signatures or that the amount in words equals the amount in figures!

    This is because the onus to carry out these checks is placed firmly with the account holders and not banking/building society staff!

  6. One of the fundamnetal reasons why the banks and building societies are able toget away with allsorts of preocdural errors is that the people in control of customer support which includes complaint handling are in the main clueless about FSA compalints procedure. I have personally, asboth an IFA and client, had issues that if they had occured by an IFA, that IFA would be heavily sanctioned. The most common problem is that the bank/building society staff have severe issues with understanding both data protection and recognizing a legal document and how to deal with it. In one instant a bank arecontinually send statements andletters to an unrelated account holder which is in breach of data protection. The bank in question, refuse to acknolwedge the complaint, refuse to allow me to speak to a data protection comptroller and refuse to report this breach to the nforamtion controller. Breachers in data protection are a crminial offence but the banks continually get away with it. So when i hear that a C & G mangaer is able to steal cheques and cash them in, it does not suprise me in the slightest because the complaints division are breaching the rules inteh handling of external complaints, If the moderator of this site wishes to see the evidence, he/she has my permission to contact me and i will show how we have had to beg Nat West to stop breaching data protection rules and report their breaches. The bank just ignore all requests and make their own rules up as they go along. In another case, a building society refuses to acknowledge that an ederly lady has moved to a new address and therefore shoul dstop sending confidential mail to her old address. We have sent copies of current bank statements to the building society shoiwng her new address along with council tax statements and inland revenue confirmaitons . However, the Nationwide continue to send statements to the old address which is in total breach of datat protection. Again, I am happy to provide all proof to the moderator. So full circle, if the banks fail to understand the rules, it does not supirse me that their employees manage to find holes in their system to exploit the loopholes.

  7. How about jailing all the ‘bankers’ who took large amounts of money in bonus’s and bankrupted their banks. That is theft. Now they are back in business, thanks to us bailing them out. They are now trying to take more bonus’s. That is theft in my books.

  8. I was disturbed when I read this. I had an electronic transfer from the BACS/CHAPS system where monies from a sale of a property were distributed. Despite me giving the account no. of the C and G account I have held for 15 years, it was paid in error to a Llouyds Bank account that no one has. It is just sitting in the bank and unless I get impossible ID for the bank I will not be able to get access to it..C and G has admitted it is their fault and have given me £20 compensation. Also they promised that a senior person from the Lloyds bank will be in touch to ge tthings sorted out but 3 weeks later..not a sausage. A solicitor is now sorting it out. I would say beware of C and G and Lloyds..I believe there is fraudulent activity going on here. I mean how can money be paid into an account when it doesn’t exist and there is no account number?

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