There are many crimes that can only be carried out thanks to the assistance of an “inside man” or someone who has a high level of knowledge about the inner workings of a firm or a system. Without this knowledge, it would be difficult to get in and out (whether it is a system or a building) without being detected. This is why a number of fraudulent crimes involve employees or ex-employees of a firm. Sometimes an employee will be disgruntled and will have an axe to grind with their company, which may lead to them carrying out a fraudulent act. Some people may be contacted by roadsters who present the opportunity and more importantly, present the reward, which could be very enticing. When people have a responsibility at their place of work, there is normally also a temptation, and it is this temptation which often provides the opportunity that fraudsters and criminals need to pull a plan together.
Of course, when someone in a position of power is found to have abused that power, the consequences can be very high. This is the case for an employee of Santander who assisted hackers in a theft that saw over £1.25m being taken from the bank. At the Old Bailey in London, it was heard that Tola Ore, who was employed as a personal advisor, played a key role in a fraud. She attached a keyboard video mouse to the work station she used and this enabled fraudsters to seize control of her desktop computer. In the modern era, remote working is fairly common and it is a tactic used by IT employees to resolve problems without having to visit different rooms and deal with staff members. In this regard, it can be highly effective and efficient for businesses but in situations that allow fraud to take place, it can be very damaging for a company, as Santander has found out.
A Massive Fraud was attempted
The fraudsters accessing the computer system remotely made an attempt to place £1,274,000 into 12 different accounts in the space of one morning in July of 2013. There is always a risk when you carry out transactions of such magnitude and it turns out that another employee of the Palmers Green branch in the north of London spotted the transactions. In the end, the company only suffered losses of £146,678 which while still being a large figure; it is a drop in the ocean compared to the sums of money that the company could have lost.
Tola Ore, who was eight months pregnant at the time of her appearance in court, admitted the role that she played in the scam but in her defence, she stated that the criminals organising the scam made threats to her and her two year old daughter. This is something that can clearly impact on a person’s line of thinking, causing them to act in a manner that they would otherwise avoid or ignore. It is also a line of defence that many defence solicitors would be keen to play up on because anything that can help to mitigate the circumstances behind such a blatant and hideous crime has to be of benefit to their client.
The Accused had Her Own Office
At the time of the fraud, Ore has been employed by the company for 6 years and she had her own office. During an internal audit, it was found that the attempted deposits had been sanctioned from her computer and on the 23rd of July she was arrested, where upon she initially denied having any knowledge of the fraud. This was a stance she maintained until the beginning of the trial.
During the case, the defence for the client changed tact, stating that the accused acted in this manner because of the threats that had been made to the accused and the accused’s daughter. In court, Ore admitted a single count of fraud and she was sentenced to three years in jail although she is expected to serve half of this sentence. The Judge Richard Marks QC said about the defence offered by Ore and her solicitors, “I have serious reservations about what I have been told. This account came the Friday before the Monday of the trial, a year-and-a-half after the event, and in terms of credibility which is central, she has lied throughout.”
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.