A personal banker transferred £10,000 of a customer’s money into his own account to gamble on a horse and help pay off his mortgage arrears, a court has heard.
Asif Siddiq, of Ash Grove, Hounslow, siphoned off £10,465.51 from a £40,000 bond on April 30 when he was supposed to transfer it into a customer’s account at his Santander branch in Ashford.
Guildford Crown Court heard on Friday he would use £8,000 of that money to put into his William Hill betting account where he lost £3,000 gambling on horse.
The remaining amount was transferred into Siddiq’s personal Halifax account.
He was discovered on May 6 by the branch’s fraud investigation team when they noticed an amendment to the transaction.
Siddiq was questioned by managers about the large sum of money, where he told them he was having financial difficulties with mortgage arrears and thought he could gamble his way out of it.
He pleaded guilty to one count of theft by employee at an earlier hearing at Staines Magistrates’ Court.
Siddiq, who owns two houses in Britain as well as a 25% stake in a home in Dubai, had been a general manager at the branch, but was demoted as it was "beyond his capabilities".
Following his arrest, all of Siddiq’s bank accounts were frozen.
Siddiq’s barrister David Castle said £9,000 had already been paid back and the remaining debt would be paid using his pension pot.
“He wasn’t in a happy place in the organisation - he had held a managerial role, but had been demoted earning £25,000 a year and had all these commitments,” he said.
“Like many, he thought gambling might be the way out.
”Mr Castle said the money was not spent on a lavish lifestyle and he had no intention of defrauding the bank in the long term."
Sentencing Siddiq to complete 180 hours of community work, Judge Peter Moss said the loss of his good character was ‘by far and a way the greatest punishment this court could impose’.
“You care for your sisters and mother and they all look up to you - that’s why your position in that household was considered by the family of importance,” he said.
“But your social standing and status within the community and family, from what you have done, will remove you from that all. It is a mighty fall from grace. The reason for all this would appear to be you misaligned your finances. Quite how you got into that mess isn’t entirely clear.
”Siddiq was also ordered to pay £390 in costs.