Worthing bank worker stole thousands from customers

A FORMER HSBC bank employee who stole a total of £4,300 from two customer accounts has been sentenced to a two-year conditional discharge by a court.

Mark Adam Shipp, 22, of Adelaide Close, Worthing, said he had been given permission by one of the customers to dip into their account, and used his staff number and password to transfer the customers’ money to his own account.

But despite this, when he appeared at City of London Magistrates’ Court he pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, after an internal probe at the bank exposed his crimes.

Shipp admitted stealing £2,950 from Noor Diab between June 28 and August 9, last year, and stealing £1,350 from Mirco Relling on August 15, while he was working at an HSBC branch in London.

Prosecutor Varinder Hayre told the court: “Mr Shipp was working at the HSBC branch in Queen Victoria Street and on September 2, last year.

“There was a complaint from a customer that an unauthorised payment of £1,350 had been debited from his account.

Enquiries revealed Mr Shipp had used his staff number and password to transfer the sums to his personal account, but the defendant initially said there had to have been a mistake.

“Further investigations revealed three further payments had been credited to Mr Shipp’s account from another customer’s, again using his staff number and password.”

It was then heard that on September 27, Shipp was quizzed by HSBC investigators.

“He claimed he had the verbal authority from the second victim to transfer money from her account,” added Mrs Hayre.

“The fraud team met with her and she said she had never given authority to take money from her account.”

The bank reported Shipp to police, who questioned the defendant twice.

Mrs Hayre said: “Again, he said he had an arrangement and was allowed to take as much money as was needed and pay it back whenever he could.

“During the second interview, Mr Shipp said he did not know why he did it and was not that sort of person and had learned his lesson.

“He told police he had lost his job and was now an estate agent and did not want to jeopardise his new job.”

“All monies have been reimbursed by Mr. Shipp to the bank,” said Mrs Hayre.

Last week’s hearing was adjourned for sentencing which took place on Monday (March 5).

After magistrates had read probation reports on Shipp, they told him he must also pay £85 court costs on top of the two-year conditional discharge.