Barclays Bank Employee Jailed for Role in Cyber Fraud in UK
Jinal Pethad set up sham bank accounts for money launderers Pavel Gincota and Ion Turcan.
A London-based Barclays bank employee has been jailed for six years for being a part of a conspiracy to launder over £2.5 million using Dridex malware. Jinal Pethad, 29, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey Court last week to conspiring to launder money between 2014 and 2016.
Pethad was sentenced on Dec. 12 to six years and four months in prison, according to a statement by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Pethad acted as “personal bank manager” to money launderers Pavel Gincota and Ion Turcan. He set up 105 sham bank accounts for them using false ID documents and also managing the accounts to ensure that receipt of the stolen funds was not blocked by the bank’s security processes. He also made efforts to ensure that the pair could transfer money between them freely.
“Jinal Pethad abused his position of trust at the bank to knowingly set up sham accounts for Gincota and Turcan, providing a vital service which enabled them to launder millions,” Mark Cains from the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit said in the statement.
Pethad used his knowledge of the financial system and made sure the stolen money was not blocked before entering these accounts. He also provided the pair with reports to evidence his efforts and maintain the criminal relationship.
“The NCA works with industry and law enforcement partners to target cybercrime at every level. We are determined to disrupt the flow of illegal money to prevent it funding further criminality,” Cains added.
In a search conducted at Pethad’s home at Edgware in North London, NCA officers recovered over £4,000 in cash, seven luxury watches and three mobile phones, all of which had been used to communicate with Gincota.
Multiple text messages on one of the phones showed Gincota making arrangements to open new accounts and asking Pethad to change details, such as addresses and security information, on existing ones.
In one of the exchanges Gincota asks, “Can I bring 2 guys for open acc pls??? 1-german; 1-france; or 2-france; who u want? Let me know pls!”
A Barclays spokesman said: “We have worked with and supported the police with this investigation and welcome the outcome of the proceedings. Barclays has a zero tolerance to any unlawful activity and confirms Jinal Pethad was dismissed by the bank. We will always support law enforcement in identifying criminal activity and have no hesitation at all in supporting prosecutions.”
While Gincota and Turcan were jailed for the conspiracy in October 2016 after an investigation by the National Crime Agency, Pethad was arrested in November last year.