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Bank Worker £40k Theft


A trusted bank worker who stole almost £40,000 in cash from the branch where she worked for 23 years to pay off personal debts is facing jail.

The clerk took the cash after spotting a colleague had made an error when handling a customer account.

Her co-worker had tried to close the account but accidentally closed the wrong one which contained £38,275.29. This went unnoticed by managers at the Bank of Scotland in Strathaven until the customer whose account had been shut down contacted them nine months later and a probe was launched.

It was then discovered that the woman, of Carluke, had used her own unique log-in details to transfer the money around various dormant accounts in the bank before withdrawing all of it in £20 notes.

Suspicious bank investigators noticed their employee had stopped taking money from her own bank account despite having earlier admitted having money worries, and they concluded she was cash-rich. The woman went on long-term sick leave before being hauled in by bank chiefs and sacked. Police were then called and she was arrested but only £120 was recovered.

The woman has now appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court and admitted embezzling the cash between January and September 2012 at the Bank of Scotland branch in Strathaven.

Depute fiscal Jason Bell told the court the initial error led to her stealing the money.

He said: “In the process of doing that they entered an incorrect albeit similar account number and aborted the transaction, or at least she thought she had but she closed another account which had £38,275.29 in it. This money then goes to a holding account.

“Sometime after that in September 2012 the customer whose account had wrongly been closed contacted the bank and advised she had not authorised the closure of the account and an investigation was undertaken.”

Sheriff Daniel Kelly QC deferred sentence until next month for reports adding: “I shall need a background report before I can deal with this but you have pled guilty to embezzling a substantial amount of money.”