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Lloyds adviser stole over £226k to fund gambling habit

An adviser for Lloyds Bank has been given a two-year suspended sentence after he stole more than £200,000 from six pensioners to fund his gambling habit.

The Daily Mail reports Marc Burnett, a senior banking adviser for Lloyds, stole £226,508 in 45 false transactions between 2008 and 2013 to spend on football accumulator bets.

Burnett, of Preston, East Yorkshire used standing orders to siphon money from six pensioners’ bank accounts. He also diverted their bank statements to avoid detection.

Speaking at Hull Crown Court, Phillips Evans for the prosecution said: “The accounts he stole money from were not randomly selected from the computer. “They were people Mr Burnett met face to face or on the telephone and then swindled them of their life savings.

“He targeted six customer accounts. One has since died and the other cannot be found. They approached him for financial advice and they trusted him with their life savings.”

Defence barrister Anil Murray said Burnett was placing bigger and bigger bets in a bid to pay off his debts, with bets of between £150 and £4,000.

Lloyds dismissed Burnett when it found out about the fraudulent behaviour and has since refunded all of the money back to victims.

Sentencing, recorder Jonathan Carroll told Burnett: “What you have done drives a dagger into the heart of the banking system and the trust that people must feel in their banks.

“Their rewards for hard work in life must be saved. These people saw you as a charming young man. 

“In your case you made unauthorised standing orders, closed down account and moved money to your own all to fund your gambling addiction. It is an addiction you have to tackle.”

In a statement to the newspaper, Lloyds Bank said: “We take our customers’ security very seriously and work closely with the police to combat fraud.
“In this case, the fraud was swiftly identified by the bank and we notified the police and the relevant authorities and assisted fully in their investigation.”

In addition to the two-year suspended sentence, Burnett ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. ’45 false transactions between 2008 and 2013…. the fraud was swiftly identified by the bank’

    i may have a different clock to LTSB but i think you’d join me in agreeing that 5 years could not be described as swift.

  2. Andy Wilson, Lincoln 24th March 2014 at 10:51 am

    Does this punishment really fit the crime?

    The actions of this adviser were fraudulent for an extended period during which time he continued to fleece vulnerable clients for significant amounts and abuse the trust of his employer. This was no one-off aberration of behaviour, this was a sustained campaign of fraud.

    300 hours community service seems a lot but he will be allowed a lengthy period to complete it, so over two years it works out at less than 3 hours a week.

    There seems to be little disincentive to prevent those who are weak and see a way to exploit the system from doing so. The only crimes you hear about are the ones who get caught – but even when they do, they are often spared jail or receive what appear to be lenient sentences. We need to toughen up and set an example to others if we are to avoid the soiled image of the financial adviser sector from being perpetuated.

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