A HIGH-FLYING bank worker has been jailed for four-and-a-half years after stealing over £45,000 from clients’ accounts.
Liam Allmand, 27, “squirrelled away” cash belonging to several wealthy savers at Barclays bank on Pinstone Street in Sheffield city centre while working as a premier relationship manager - even taking money from a dead man’s account.
Sheffield Crown Court heard he earned around £50,000 a year and was considered one of the best at his job, picking up a £20,000 bonus.
Judge Robert Moore QC said Allmand transferred the money into accounts in the name of his mother, sister and an old friend. He breached Barclays’ sophisticated security systems so well it took the bank two years to spot his crimes.
The court heard Allmand worked for Barclays from 2008, and initially began stealing to clear debts from university.
“You became one of the best customer relationship managers at Barclays,” Judge Moore told him. “Your figures were good, your customers and clients were grateful. You had personal responsibility for the accounts of wealthy customers, but abused both their trust and your skills. You began to squirrel away money.”
Judge Moore said once Allmand had paid off his debts he began “lining his own pockets”.
“Often customers were those who were away from the UK and not in regular contact and control of their finances,” he added. “You silted the money into different accounts.”
Elizabeth Martin, prosecuting, said at the height of the scam Allmand stole nearly £34,000 in 14 weeks from last March to June.
He also accessed a dead man’s ISA account and took £5,211.
Allmand had a portfolio of 300 wealthy clients, Miss Martin said, and took money from accounts with a minimum of £50,000. He began by taking cash from a couple in Manchester before moving on to the Sheffield accounts.
The court heard he was “frank” with police after his arrest.
“When he was spoken to by the bank’s investigation team he tendered his resignation - that was declined and the bank sacked him,” Miss Martin added.
Desmond Rosario, defending, said: “He found himself having graduated with vast debts which were accruing almost daily. He was considering voluntary administration, which would have rendered him unemployable in the financial sector. He chose to be a criminal and breach the trust of those who regarded him as being the best at his job.”
Allmand, who has moved to Northampton, now earns £16,000 a year at Wickes DIY store.
Allmand, who has no previous convictions, admitted nine counts of fraud. An application to recover the money was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act.