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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Walsall bank clerk took £93k to pay gambling debts

A bank clerk has admitted embezzling more than £93,000 from his Black Country employers over two years to feed his gambling habit.

Scott Worrall created up to 50 fake bank accounts as part of the fraud from the Santander Bank where he worked.

He admitted abusing his position at the branch in Park Street, Walsall, from July 2007 to September 2009. The embezzlement involved a total of £93,723 and Worrall could face jail when he is sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court next month. He was told his actions were a ‘significant breach of trust’.

Santander said Worrall, aged 34, no longer worked for the company and customers had not been left out of pocket.

Worrall, of Raeburn Road, Great Barr, appeared before Judge Martin Walsh where he pleaded guilty to the charge of fraud.

Part of his job was to open bank accounts and he set up scores in false and real names with an overdraft of £2,000, creating unauthorised credit which was then accessed through a series of cash withdrawals.

The accounts were mainly used to settle gambling debts.

A brief hearing was held at Wolverhampton Crown Court for the plea to be entered. The case was adjourned until June 7 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared. Worrall was granted unconditional bail until the sentencing hearing.

Briefly raising the case Mr Howard Searle, prosecuting, said the charge related to an abuse of position.

He said Worrall ‘did have a gambling problem’ when the offence was committed.

Mr Lee Masters, defending, claimed Worrall did not receive all of the amount but said he accepted his culpability.

Adjourning the case for the report Judge Martin Walsh said: “This was a significant breach of trust.”

West Midlands Police was called in to investigate the offence when officers were alerted that fraudulent bank accounts had been opened at Santander in Walsall. Worrall was initially arrested on April 13 last year.

Following an investigation he was charged with the fraud on February 14 this year and first appeared at Walsall Magistrates Court later in the month.

Santander spokeswoman Siobhan O’Shea said: “An incident of this type is treated very seriously. In this case, we reported the matter to the police and undertook a full internal investigation.”

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