Three crooks who helped launder profits from a £42,000 scam to fleece Lloyds Bank customers have been told their jail terms were not too long.
Naheem Ishtiaq Ahmed, 28, Iklas Imtiaz, 29, and Kamran Imtiaz, 34, played vital roles in a well-planned conspiracy, London’s Appeal Court heard.
The scheme to siphon funds out of customers’ accounts was hatched by two dishonest Lloyds telephone banking employees, one of them from Huddersfield.
The trio helped to recruit “vulnerable, or naive or simply corrupt and greedy” people who were prepared to allow dirty money to be washed through their bank accounts.
A number of college students were caught up in the money laundering scam.
Ahmed, of West Park Street, Dewsbury ; Iklas Imtiaz, of Tinsel Road, Dewsbury, and Kamran Imtiaz, also of Tinsel Road, were all convicted of money laundering.
They were each jailed for two years at Leeds Crown Court in October last year.
At the Appeal Court, they asked Mr Justice Green and two other senior judges to reduce their sentences, arguing that they were treated too harshly.
The court heard the dishonest Lloyds employees were meant to be dealing with customer inquiries, but instead took the opportunity to plunder their accounts.
Lawyers for the three launderers argued there was an “unfair disparity” between their sentences and those imposed on the bank employees.
Ahmed said he had been involved personally only with a £1,000 transfer, while Kamran Imtiaz told the court he had to look after his sick sister.
But, dismissing the appeals, Mr Justice Green ruled: “These appellants were involved in a well-planned conspiracy to defraud, using employees to obtain bank numbers and siphon off funds to other accounts.
“There was the involvement of others, including college students, and significant planning.
“The judge concluded that two years was proper for all these men. His findings were within the proper margins and he was the trial judge.
“The sentences imposed upon these appellants as recruiters were proper. They were sentenced properly and appropriately.”
Last October bank customer service advisors Adam Lorgat, 24, of Bradford Road, Fartown , and Saad Hussain, 26, of Summerlands Grove, Bradford, both admitted fraud by abuse of position.
Lorgat was jailed for two years and 11 months and Hussain for two years, five months.
Five other men were jailed for a total of 13 years, nine months for their roles in the conspiracy.