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Bank worker stole £162k 'to pay for fertility treatment'

By Marion Brennan | Willenhall | Crime | Published:

A bank employee siphoned away more than £162,000 under her bosses’ noses to pay for fertility treatment, a court heard.

Karanjit Kailla stole more than £162,000 when working for Lloyds Bank

Karanjit Kailla stole from the company over the course of more than two years, transferring the money into four accounts she opened in the names of her husband and other members of her family.

The 34-year-old from Willenhall told police she used the cash to pay for IVF treatment although she went on to conceive a child naturally, said Mr Ian Ball, prosecuting.

Kailla had various positions at Lloyds Bank but by July 2014, when the offending started, she worked in a department that looked into customers’ complaints and compensated successful claims, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard

She had access to customers’ personal accounts and also to a reserve of money set aside for reimbursing them.

Kailla began re-opening resolved claims, using those accounts to steal money for herself.

She transferred the cash in small amounts to begin with but alarm bells sounded after one large ‘settlement’ for £90,000 was paid out in one go into one of the accounts made out in her husband’s name.

“She used the same address, so this was not a sophisticated operation,” said Mr Ball. The total amount stolen was £162, 204.

Kailla is now estranged from her partner and back living with her parents. After losing her bank job, she is currently working part-time at an estate agents.

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The court heard she had repaid £18,000 by forfeiting her pension and a further £6,000 had been recovered from one of the bank accounts seized.

Mr Naeem Karbhari, defending, said Kailla’s family wanted to help her repay the outstanding £138,000 in a bid to prevent her going to prison and he asked the court for more time to put arrangements in place.

“Collectively they want to put right the wrong she has done,” he said.

Recorder Michael Burrows, QC, told him it was ‘an unattractive proposition to buy your way out of a custodial sentence’, adding Kailla and her family had already had two years to make provision.

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However Mr Kaeem said the consequences of her offending had only just started to impact on her and she understood she still faced going to prison even if the money was repaid in full.

Kailla, of Bloor Mill Close, Willenhall, pleaded guilty last month to theft by an employee.

The recorder agreed to adjourn sentencing for three months, adding: “You should not expect you can buy your liberty in any way and that all sentencing options remain open to me.”

She was granted unconditional bail until March 8.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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