Sydney bank employee arrested after swindling $350k out of elderly customer's accounts

The arrest was made as part of Strike Force Kerribee investigating an alleged crime syndicate.
The arrest was made as part of Strike Force Kerribee investigating an alleged crime syndicate. Photo credit: New South Wales Police

A former Australian bank employee has been arrested and charged for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from elderly residents' bank accounts.

New South Wales police confirmed in a statement on Thursday that the arrest was made as part of Strike Force Kerribee, which has been investigating an alleged crime syndicate since May 2019.

The investigation revealed fraud from February 2015 and October 2018 valued at $590,000 which came from unauthorised bank transactions.

Detectives arrested a 28-year-old man and 26-year-old woman on December 9, who were able to fraudulently claim $350,000.

Then on Wednesday, they arrested a 29-year-old woman on Pitt Street, in Sydney's CBD who formerly worked as a bank employee.

She was charged with 15 offences including dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and possessing identity information with the intention to commit an indictable offence.

"It will be alleged in court that this woman used her employment to facilitate unauthorised fraudulent bank transactions valued at nearly $600,000 over a two-year period," Financial Crimes Squad Commander Det Supt Linda Howlett said.

"This includes nearly $350,000 allegedly siphoned from an elderly individuals' retirement and personal accounts - essentially stealing all of their savings.

"Criminal offences of this nature are not only financially debilitating, but also emotionally distressing for victims, and anyone involved in stealing the hard-earned wages and savings of others is disgraceful."

She said the methods used were complex and involved a lot of planning, and the woman had abused the trust of the bank and customers.

"Investigations of this nature are extremely complex and involve working in close collaboration with financial institutions to uncover the full extent of the alleged crimes committed.

"Anyone who believes their identity has been compromised online is urged to contact their financial institution and police."

Det Supt Howlett said investigators have now dismantled the activities of the alleged criminal syndicate.