Nailsea bank clerk sent to jail for defrauding HSBC
By Carol_Deacon | Saturday, July 21, 2012, 15:05
A SENIOR bank clerk who helped himself to £200,000 from HSBC's own accounts is now behind bars, writes The Post court reporter.
Family man David York transferred the money to his personal account after his credit card debts 'spiralled out of control', Bristol Crown Court heard.
The hearing was told he was now working as a supermarket shelf stacker to help repay his debt to the bank.
York started off by taking small amounts but, as depression took hold, became increasingly brazen and paid himself sums as high as £15,000 in one go.
York, aged 47, of Fosse Way, Nailsea, pleaded guilty to three charges of fraud between March 2007 and March 2011, during which he defrauded HSBC bank of £204,912.10.
Mark Hollier, prosecuting, said York was employed at the bank since 1982 and, when his fraudulent activity was noticed, he immediately owned up.
He told investigators he would take money from the bank's miscellaneous account.
He said he would create paperwork for debits and credits, put it through the cheque clearing system which involved a distant processing centre, a machine operator would press some buttons and he would receive a credit to his own account.
Mr Hollier said: "The audit trail was easy for the bank and the police. All the debits went to the defendant's account. They just hadn't been picked up."
York sobbed as Richard Nile, defending, told the court: "He worked at the bank for more than 20 years.
"He didn't rise to the heights of manager, he rose to senior clerk.
"He rose to the top of his salary bracket, which was £23,000 annually, with an £18,000 take home.
"He has not had a pay rise for several years and is married with three children."
Mr Nile said his client had borrowed money on credit cards and the debts kept mounting.
He said: "He was unable to explain himself to his wife.
"There was no lavish lifestyle. They had their own house and holidays to Marjorca, but the apartment was paid for by his father-in-law as well as some flights, and there is a modest family car."
The court heard York took out a personal loan for £30,000 with HSBC in 2006, to "mop up" credit card debts, and still had that loan as well as £40,000 outstanding on cards.
Sentencing him to 14 months in prison, Judge Michael Harington told him: "It amounts to a serious abuse of trust."
Mr Nile said remorseful York would be losing his bank pension worth £97,000, the bank had taken out a £50,000 charge against his home and York had been paying them back £45 a month from two part-time jobs, including supermarket shelf stacker.