Former Barclays worker stole £127,000 from her bank to cover payday loans she took out to feed her gambling addiction
- Rogue employee handed two years behind bars for her fraudulent scam
- The operations' specialist 'lived a lie' to pay off gambling debts
- She made 200 separate transactions of up to £5,000 a time over three years
- Her ruse was uncovered when an anomaly of just £40 was spotted
Jailed: Julia Finney has been handed two years behind bars for the £127,000 fraud
By Stuart Woledge
PUBLISHED:04:29 EST, 6 August 2013
A former Barclays Bank employee has been jailed for stealing £127,000 from accounts to meet payday loans she took out to feed a gambling addiction.
Julia Finney’s 'sophisticated' three-year scam only emerged when she made a £40 mistake on a transaction as she tried to cover her tracks.
It sparked an investigation and police discovered the 29-year-old had taken out dozens of expensive, short-term payday loans to feed her 'serious gambling addiction'.
Finney, of Deritend in Birmingham, admitted the theft of £127,471 from Barclays during her spree between January, 2010, and January this year.
She was jailed for two years.
Defending, Richard Dewsbery told Birmingham Crown Court the former operations specialist 'lived a lie' and had lost her job, home and long-term partner.
He said: 'This has taken a heavy psychological toll on Miss Finney.
'All of the money has gone and most of it was gambled away in 2010 and 2011. She was gripped by an addiction.'
Finney had worked for Barclays since 2004 and was based at its Birmingham city centre Colmore Row branch.
The court heard she made nearly 200 separate transactions using internal accounts, which were not held by customers.
Prosecuting, Patrick Sullivan explained the amounts started at £150 and rose to £4,000 and £5,000.
'The bank carries out unannounced audits twice a year,' he said.
'But she used sophisticated methods and managed to avoid discovery for a long period of time.
'Miss Finney also managed to cover her tracks ahead of holidays by querying issues in the hope of avoiding discovery by people covering her work.
Mr Sullivan added Finney admitted the thefts to bank investigators and quit her job ahead of her arrest in February.
Target: Finney carried out her fraudulent campaign at the Birmingham city centre branch in Colmore Row over a three-year period
He told her: 'This was a serious breach of trust and you used very sophisticated methods to continue thieving and covering your tracks.
Gamble: Finney arriving a court to hear her fate. She was to leave in the back of a prison van
'You have never really given an explanation as to why you did this other than your gambling habit.
'You tell the probation service you think there is a difference between stealing from customer accounts and stealing from the bank.
'But stealing is stealing. There is a common misconception that banks and business can survive when people look to steal from them.'
The Crown asked for a nominal £1 order for a Proceeds of Crime application.
Finney, who has no assets, was warned she would be pursued once she was released from prison if her financial circumstances changed.
Yesterday the Mail revealed that the city council will be banning computer users from looking at payday loan firm websites at its libraries.
Neighbouring Sandwell Council in the West Midlands blocked access at its 19 venues on moral grounds.
Payday loan providers have attracted criticism because of their sky-high interest rates.
Experts said anyone who needed to borrow money should consider a credit union.
An example highlighted was the 6 Towns Credit Union in West Bromwich, which charged just £1 in interest to borrow £100 for a month.
That compares with Wonga, where interest and fees are £35 to borrow the same amount for 28 days.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2385311/Former-Barclays-worker-stole-127-000-Birmingham-bank-cover-payday-loans-took-feed-gambling-addiction.html#ixzz2bGXXaJ2M
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Bank worker jailed for stealing £127,000 to fund gambling addiction
Ex-Birmingham Barclays official was uncovered when she made £40 mistake after three years of "sophisticated" operation