A BANK worker fraudulently used elderly customers’ bank details to book hotel rooms for his friends in Portsmouth, a court heard.
Jahangir Hussain, 27, stole the details of two customers while working at the Halifax.
Hussain had failed to tell the bank he already had a caution for stealing from another place of work when he applied for a job there.
He was given a two-year suspended sentence and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay £385 compensation and £340 costs.
Gary Venturi, prosecuting at Portsmouth Crown Court, said: ‘Mr Hussain and a number of friends were having a reunion in Portsmouth. This defendant took it upon himself to arrange for and pay for hotels for all of them whilst they were here.’
The court heard staff noticed suspicious behaviour.
Mr Venturi added: ‘Card details used to secure those hotels related to two elderly persons who bank at the Halifax, somewhat removed from Portsmouth, at Bexleyheath in Kent. It was quickly discovered this was where the defendant lived.’
The court heard Hussain obtained one victim’s bank details when he opened a savings account for her.
It was not revealed how the other customer’s details were obtained. One of the victim’s details was used to pay a £385 hotel accommodation.
However in Hussain’s defence the court heard he is ‘filled with remorse’ and had not intended for the details to be used to pay for anything, but for them to be used as ‘reservation cards’.
Addressing Hussain, of Windsor Drive, Orpington, Kent, Recorder John Trevaskis, sentencing, said: ‘These were offences which I find involved a high degree of breach of trust on your part.
‘As an employee of Halifax bank you were responsible for safeguarding the data of its customers and not abuse that data for your own benefit.
‘It was in relation to your failure to disclose your previous conviction and crime when applying for employment with the bank, you must have understood that the obligation on you was to disclose all previous convictions and cautions and that the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act would not absolve you from that responsibility.’
Recorder Trevaskis added: ‘The fact that one of the cards was in fact used to pay for hotel accommodation, which is also not something that you had intended it to be used for is some mitigation but not much, because those cards were, in my judgement, fruit of a poison tree and their purpose of being used was intended to be fraudulent in one way of another.’