Ex-Nationwide employee sentenced for fraud

Michael Lloyd

November 11, 2019

prevent fraud

An ex-employee of Nationwide Building Society has been given a suspended prison sentence for committing a series of fraudulent activity using information from mortgage borrowers.

Alexander Obiefule was sentenced at Poole Magistrates’ Court to 26 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months after admitting 13 counts of fraud by false representation.

He also was sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work and up to 15 days rehabilitation activity.

Obiefule worked for the Nationwide Building Society Mortgage Works call centre in Bournemouth at the time of the offences.

As part of his role he was required to obtain account numbers from customers in order for them to make mortgage payments.

Between July 2016 and November 2016, Obiefule used bank details of victims that he spoke to on the phone to carry out 52 fraudulent card transactions totalling over £4,900.

The matter was reported to Dorset Police the next day and officers attended the call centre to arrest Obiefule.

Detective Constable Rob Fletcher, of Dorset Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “Alexander Obiefule abused his position and used it to take money from innocent victims.

“We will do all we can to bring prolific offenders like Obiefule before the court.”

A spokesperson from Nationwide said: “We take employee fraud very seriously and have robust procedures in place to detect such incidents and activity.

“We will always assist the police in securing a prosecution where appropriate and we are pleased that in this instance the law has taken its course.

“We have fully refunded those members who were the victims of this incident and we have also reminded employees of their responsibilities and the potential implications, should they commit fraud, or fail to adhere to our strict internal processes.”

Two complaints from customers were received on 22 November 2016 after they saw that their bank cards had been fraudulently used after contacting the call centre and speaking to Obiefule.

Officers launched an investigation, working with the Nationwide Building Society Fraud Unit, and found a further 11 victims.

Obiefule was re-arrested in April 2019 and made a full admission in a police interview.

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