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The Successful Frauditor's Casebook by Peter Tickner

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Chapter 10

Curiouser and curiouser

Some fraud case ‘shorts’ in the UK motivated by obsession as well as greed

Curiouser and curiouser

Alice, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) by Lewis Carroll (1832–1898)

1. THE LIVE PARROT SKETCH

The UK banking sector has come in for some pretty harsh criticism in recent years for its ability to lose taxpayers and investors money and the disastrous collapse and subsequent government bail-out of some of the high street’s biggest names in banking. One such bank has been Lloyds TSB, now 41% owned by the UK taxpayer. They had an almost prescient event strike them in 2003, when the judge at Maidstone Crown Court described the actions of Lee Gardiner in stealing £2,172,432 from customers’ accounts as ‘outrageous and disgraceful’ and as having ‘undermined the public’s confidence in banks’. Gardiner admitted 24 counts of theft, with 203 other cases to take into consideration. The judge sentenced him to nine long years for his crimes.

Lee Gardiner was a financial adviser employed by Lloyds to advise elderly and vulnerable customers. Between 1999 and 2002, he systematically stole from the accounts of thirty-eight customers who he deemed sufficiently ignorant on financial matters that they would not challenge his actions. He was right—his frauds only came to light when he transferred over £900,000 of stolen funds in one transaction from his own bank account to that of his girlfriend and partner. Had he kept his transactions to a sensible size, ...

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