A JURY has heard how an elderly Cumbrian flood victim was duped out of more than £64,000 by crooks posing as fraud investigators.
The Kendal woman, now aged 83, was contacted on her landline in October, 2016, by two men claiming to represent her bank. She was told, falsely, her account had been compromised and talked into transferring large sums of money totalling around £64,500 – including a flood insurance payout – into what she was tricked into thinking were temporary and safe dummy accounts. This was in the belief such urgent action would prevent further thefts.
However, the money was instead criminally cascaded into accounts at the same bank belonging to others.
One man, 20-year-old London acting student Nikhil Yauvan Reedye, stands accused of then allowing his account to be used as the stolen loot was filtered still further for money laundering purposes.
However, Reedye, of Kennedy Close, Mitcham, Merton, denies two charges alleging converting criminal property, and has gone on trial at Carlisle Crown Court. Opening the case today (TUES), prosecutor Ian Whitehurst told how £5,000 was paid into Reedye’s student bank account hours after the woman was duped. Separate payments of £2,000 and almost £3,000 were then swiftly made to a foreign currency company but, during an investigation which followed, detectives hit a “dead end” as they attempted to follow the money further.
“It was a tragic, mean and sadly ironic scam,” Mr Whitehurst said of the crime carried out by the sophisticated phone duo.
But Reedye, he told jurors, denied knowing either that the £5,000 had been paid into his account, or that two currency payments were swiftly made from it.
When interviewed, a police officer asked Reedye: “Have you been involved in this fraud by allowing someone to access your bank account?”
“No, sir,” Reedye replied. “I don’t know anything. I’m just confused, that’s all.”
The trial continues.