A Birmingham bank manager has been accused of stealing almost half a million pounds from an unsuspecting customer.
Parminder Bhachu, aged 42, of Craddock Road, Smethwick, denies a charge of conspiracy to steal, along with Puspaben Patel, 35, of Baldwins Lane, Hall Green, Niranjnaben Patel, 32, of Manor Road, Streetly, and Satwinder Ghattaura, 42, of Woodlands Road, Moseley.
Ghattaura has also pleaded not guilty to seven allegations of perverting the course of justice.
Bhachu was employed as a customer business manager at Barclays in Soho Road, Birmingham, and accessed accounts belonging to customer Barbara Siembida on a number of occasions without her permission, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
Shenaz Muzaffer, prosecuting, said Bhachu amended Ms Siembeda’s address, in December 2008, to an address of Ghattaura’s. Four days later Bhachu ordered a pin sentry device, used for internet banking.
During five days in February 2009 a sum of £480,000 was taken from Ms Siembida’s account and dispersed between five separate accounts linked to members of the conspiracy.
Miss Muzaffer said mother-of-three Puspaben Patel, at one point posed as Ms Siembida.
She said: “The primary focus of this trial concerns an agreement between all four defendants to steal from Barclays bank.
“A total of £480,000 was fraudulently transferred from the account of a known bank-holder, a genuine customer, into an account that had been set up as part of the conspiracy.
“All four defendants played a different role in allowing the transfer of the money to take place.
“The amount of the fraud was ambitious. To obtain a considerable sum of money, almost half a million pounds.
“The Crown say that the fraud involved a significant degree of planning. Those involved must, the Crown say, have trusted each other to carry out their roles properly.”