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Crooked bank manager Lorna Keary to pay back only £1,700 after £144k fraud

Bank manager Lorna Keary has been jailed for three years
Bank manager Lorna Keary has been jailed for three years

A crooked bank manager who stole a friend's identity while committing large-scale fraud to fund a lavish lifestyle must pay back just £1,700.

Lorna Keary, 34, was jailed for three years in March when she was convicted by a jury of six fraud offences, two of false accounting and one of money laundering after stealing almost £144,000.

Now Keary has returned to court for a confiscation hearing.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the mother-of-two was a local business manager at HSBC in Tonbridge in November 2009 when she was arrested.

She opened false accounts to siphon off thousands of pounds in loans, using the identities and account details of existing customers.

The court heard she had benefitted in the amount of £143,778, but that her "realisable assets" amount only to £1,700.

The court heard Keary had opened false accounts to siphon off thousands of pounds in loans by using the identities and account details of existing customers.

She also made numerous unauthorised cashpoint transactions to withdraw £126,950.

About £50,000 of that was credited to Keary's personal accounts and the rest was believed to have been used to fund holidays, family credit card bills, household expenditure and fuel for large family cars.

Judge Charles Macdonald QC ordered she repay £1,700 within a month or serve a further 30 days.

The hearing had been expected to last half a day, but was shortened when the figures were agreed by both prosecution and defence.

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

The confiscation hearing was held at Maidstone Crown Court

At the sentencing hearing, Judge Macdonald told Keary she had "used and duped" her close friend, hair salon boss Lynne Bungay, who came under suspicion herself and was arrested.

He added that Mrs Bungay and other victims felt "deeply betrayed" by Keary.

"It should never be forgotten that white collar crime has real victims," he said.

Keary, of Lincoln Way, Crowborough, East Sussex, told the jury at her trial that she was "absolutely shell-shocked" when she was arrested.

She accepted there had been a fraud at HSBC between 2006 and 2009 and the culprit must have been an employee - but she denied being the perpetrator.

About £50,000 of that was credited to Keary's personal accounts and the rest was believed to have been used to fund holidays, family credit card bills, household expenditure and fuel for large family cars.

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