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Bank worker jailed after stealing £120,000 from customer

Satnam Kaur
Satnam Kaur

A bank worker convicted of stealing £120,000 from a wealthy customer she accused of sexually assaulting her has been jailed for a year.

Satnam Kaur tried to convince a court she had been given the cash as “hush money” after swindling Robert Brown.

She duped him into signing a blank banker’s draft, then plundered his account over a period of a month.

Kaur paid the money into the account of another customer – Robert Mann – before forging his signature on a blank cheque that was deposited in her own Lloyds TSB account.

The theft happened at Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Albyn Place, Aberdeen.
More than half the money was sent to an account in India.

This morning, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard the Crown Office had been unable to trace the missing money and Kaur’s solicitor Peter Keene said she was unable to tell them where the cash was hidden.

Sheriff Christopher Shead said there was no alternative than to impose a custodial sentence.

However, as she had been convicted on summary proceedings, the sheriff was informed he could only impose a maximum sentence of 12 months.

Kaur had previously appeared in court on indictment charged with stealing more than £170,000 from Mr Brown and Mr Mann. The case collapsed in October last year because of a Crown blunder.

A fresh prosecution was launched under summary proceedings.

Sentencing Kaur, Sheriff Shead said: “On the last occasion the Crown drew my attention to the procedural history explaining how it came to be that she was prosecuted under summary proceedings.

“Had she been prosecuted on indictment the sentencing powers available to me would be far greater.”

The sheriff also said he felt there was no need for him to make a decision on a deportation order which had been sought by the Crown and said this would now be a decision for the Secretary of State.

A date for a confiscation hearing has also been set to try to retrieve the funds she stole, which cost the bank £120,000 repaying her victims.

Banking logs showed Kaur accessed the details of both customers on numerous occasions in the run-up to the theft.

Giving evidence at her earlier trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, the 32-year-old claimed Mr Brown had given her the money because she threatened to report him to the police for touching her inappropriately.

She said there were a number of incidents involving him trying to kiss her or touch her on the leg.

The former customer adviser, who is originally from India, claimed Mr Brown said he worked in the offshore industry and did not want to have any convictions on his record.

Kaur, who formerly stayed in Fraser Place, Aberdeen, but has been living in Glasgow, claimed he offered to pay her cash in exchange for keeping quiet.

She told the court: “Originally, I said no and had no intention of taking the money but then, when I went home and thought about it, I agreed.”

Kaur said she was not sure how much money Mr Brown planned to give her and claimed he did not want to be linked to her in any way.

She said she asked Mr Mann if the cash could be transferred into his account first.

Kaur told the court: “Mr Mann, I had known him for the last five years. He was like a father figure to me.
“I used to go to his place and cook for him. He gave me earrings as well.”

She said Mr Mann had advised her to go to the police but said she was not keen to follow his advice, claiming a similar incident had happened to her while she was working at a department store.
The court also heard evidence from the two men, who insisted they had not given Kaur permission to access their accounts.
Mr Brown did not even notice cash was missing – it had been transferred on October 20, 2011 – until he was informed by the authorities, who were called in to investigate.
Fiscal depute Craig Harris said Kaur had told an “absolute pack of lies” about how the money had gone into her personal account.