HSBC worker jailed for fleecing academic's account of £157k

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An HSBC worker who hijacked a renowned academic’s bank account for a £157,000 spending spree on holidays around the world has been jailed for 18 months. 

Customer services officer Issachar Stainrod-Holness, 23, took control of Robert Mabro CBE’s finances after helping him and his wife Judith at the Bayswater branch where he worked. 

Stainrod-Holness transferred £3,200 to himself the day after meeting the couple, in December 2014, hoping to put the funds towards a home for he and his girlfriend. But when he was not caught, the bank worker continued to raid the account, splashing out on expensive gifts and holidays. 

Mr Mabro, who founded the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies in 1982, was a trusted adviser to some of the most powerful figures in the oil industry during his career. The academic did not notice money leaving his account as he had been suffering from dementia since 2011, Southwark crown court heard. 

When he died in August last year aged 81, his wife uncovered the fraud and realised that £156,700 was unaccounted for. Stainrod-Holness, who had set up a telephone banking account in the Mabros’ names but used his own contact details, was quickly identified. 

Stainrod-Holness, from Balham, admitted fraud by abuse of position. Jailing him, Judge Joanna Korner QC branded his actions “despicable”. Records show Stainrod-Holness made 46 transfers to himself, ranging from £3,500 to £9,000. In a victim impact statement, Mrs Mabro said: “The money that had been stolen would have been intended for my family when I died. 

“I have been provided the money back from the bank but if I had not been reimbursed I do not know the emotional impact this would have had.”

Stainrod-Holness will serve half the sentence before being considered for release.


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