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Four Huddersfield men sentenced for bank scam

One did it to get £20 worth of cannabis and £50

The four men claimed to be calling from the Barclays Bank’s fraud team or police

Four men from Huddersfield have been given suspended sentences and a fourth a community order for allowing fraudsters to use their bank accounts in a financial scam.

Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday that police became aware of the fraud in 2013 when bank customers were targeted in phone calls purporting to be from police or Barclays Bank’s fraud team.

Robert Moore, prosecuting, said customers were told there had been fraudulent activity on their account and were persuaded to move money to a safe account or to reveal details, allowing the criminals to move money themselves.

He said the four men before the court had allowed their accounts to be used in the process.

In November 2013 a total of £6,950 was moved into an account of Umar Hussain and the money was then withdrawn in 11 transactions, many at two casinos in the Bradford and Halifax areas.

When he was arrested he said “they came and put some money in the account and I got a little bit out of it.”

Mr Moore said £2,500 went through an account of Jamal Hill, £2,140 through an account of Iftikhar Hussan and £610 into an account of James Bottomley.

Nadeem Bashir, representing Hussain, said at the time he was unemployed and in financial difficulties and was promised he would get between £200 and £300.

Ian Brooke for Bottomley said he was given £20 in “weed” and £50 cash.

Sentencing the four, Judge Penelope Belcher said they each admitted a money laundering offence.

She said: “In essence what I accept you did was make your bank accounts available for use by others involved in a sophisticated fraud defrauding bank customers.”

She added that those who were the victims of that fraud suffered considerable inconvenience and upset.

“You were not the fraudsters but you knew your accounts were being used for dishonest purposes, each of you for paltry gains,” she said.

Hussain, 26 of Dean Street, Oakes, was given 12 months in prison suspended for two years with 120 hours unpaid work.

Hill, 24 of Bowling Street, Cowlersley, was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 12 months with 100 hours unpaid work.

Hassan, 47 of Bland Street, Lockwood, was given six months in prison suspended for 12 months with a three month curfew from 7pm to 7am.

Bottomley, 22 of Bowling Street, Cowlersley, was given a 12 month community order with 80 hours unpaid work.

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