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Wolverhampton bank conman facing prison

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A gambling addict from Wolverhampton convinced bank staff to reveal customer details before stealing thousands of pounds from accounts.

A gambling addict from Wolverhampton convinced bank staff to reveal customer details before stealing thousands of pounds from accounts.

Joseph Mason trawled the internet and phonebook for more than a dozen victims' details before "weeding" information out of Lloyds TSB staff.

The 32-year-old newlywed won workers' trust after bluffing his way through security questions, asking staff what date of birth they had for him and then "correcting" the year.

He walked into branches around the Midlands armed with customer details before successfully withdrawing money.

On one occasion, he posed as a soldier serving in Afghanistan and claimed his father had been handling his account in his absence.

The full cost of the fraud is expected to be in excess of £11,000, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard today.

CCTV

Mason, of Warstones Crescent, was arrested when he flew in to Birmingham International Airport on August 1 after his honeymoon. He served a six-month sentence for fraud in 2007.

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Today he admitted 15 charges of fraud. He is also facing 30 similar offences that will be put to him when he is sentenced on November 17. He was caught after being spotted on CCTV.

Colin Molloy, district crown prosecutor for the Black Country, said today: "He trawled the internet and phonebooks to gather personal information and see if he could match it up to a customer at the bank.

"When he got a hit he would weed information out of staff, suggesting to them they had his details wrong."

Mr Kevin Saunders, defending, said Mason was a "pathological gambling addict". Customers have been reimbursed by Lloyds.

Judge John Warner remanded Mason in custody and said: "You stole a great deal of money. There's a high likelihood of a substantial prison sentence."

By Crime Correspondent Mike Woods

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