SWT ticket office staff jailed for fraud

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Tetchytyke

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Six ticket office clerks operating from Richmond station in London have been jailed after defrauding passengers and South West Trains of over £100,000.

http://www.sheengate.co.uk/richmond...t-train-employees-commit-100k-worth-of-fraud/

Six members of South West Trains staff who worked as ticket-office clerks at Richmond station have been jailed for committing fraud thought to be worth in excess of £100,000.

The gang’s activities came to light in October 2012 South West Trains investigated an anomaly in accounting systems.

An investigation revealed Linus Okrah, 45, Julia Cann, 33, Alicia Dunn, 34, David Rudland, 67, Grace Oyegoke, 33, and Olufisayo Dada, 35, had been defrauding the ticketing and Oyster card system.

Fraudulent cards were being sold illicitly to unsuspecting customers while the staff pocketed the cash, in what was described as a ‘sell one get one free’ scam.

They were arrested when evidence emerged they had also been taking advantage of the till systems in order to create and use illicit travel cards which were found in locations including their home addresses.

“Between them, these people had more than 50 years service with South West Trains, yet they chose to throw that away for the sake of greed” said Detective Constable Becci Crampton.

“Throughout their trial, they denied any responsibility for the fraud, claiming the irregularities had been caused by technical faults with ticket machines. Thanks to the hard work of our officers, South West Trains and Transport for London, we were able to prove this was a lie.

Okrah, from Wanstead, was sentenced to 18 months. Cann, from Brentford, was sentenced to nine months. Alicia Dunn, from Luton, was sentenced to nine months. Rudland, from Epsom, was sentenced to 13 months.

Oyegoke, from Greenhithe, was sentenced to nine months, suspended for two years, 150 hours of unpaid work to be completed within 12 months, and wear an electronic tag for three months.

Dada, from Brixton, was sentenced to 18 months for conspiracy to commit fraud, and a further six months, to run consecutively after pleading guilty to possessing false identity documents with intent.
 
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reb0118

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I knew all along that a very small proportion ofl Rail staff were criminals! Possibly in line with the amount of non rail staff criminals in society at large but more probably less due to the stringent vetting processes used*. Confirmation at last!:lol:
There lad, fixed that for you! :p

*To be fair I don't think these worked in the above case
 

swt_passenger

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If they've been syphoning cash off from Oyster transactions, I wonder how many unsuspecting card holders have had problems with their balance mysteriously reducing, and have put it down to the system playing up? I guess they'll have a hard job working it all out at individual Oyster card level?
 

ChiefPlanner

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Not unknown - had a certain London suburban station staff all nicked on one occassion - I will not go into the details of the scam. Way back - a certain LU ticket office manager did a runner with a vast hoard of season ticket annual renewal money .......handle cash = temptation to some ...
 

infobleep

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Given they had 50 years of service between them, I wonder if the police might want them to serve 50 years of their time in jail between them.

So passengers were illegally using travel cards. I assume using something illegally unknowingly isn't illegal?
 

455driver

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I knew all along that all Rail staff were criminals! Confirmation at last!:lol:
Wow first reply to a topic is a dig at all railstaff, smillie or not! :roll:

Maybe you could tell us what job you do (if you are old enough/can be bothered to work) so we can all stick the boot it?
 

jon91

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Ignorance is no defence at law...............

Discuss..............

In this case my belief is that any person issued with a dodgy oyster card by these alleged scammers is just as much a victim as TfL/SWT.
I'd reckon so too, seeing as the person who unknowingly been sold a fake Oyster card is also a victim of fraud. However, if it was an RPI first happening upon someone with a fake Oyster card they may have reasonable grounds to believe that the holder was intending to travel without paying.
 

LateThanNever

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Wow first reply to a topic is a dig at all railstaff, smillie or not! :roll:

Maybe you could tell us what job you do (if you are old enough/can be bothered to work) so we can all stick the boot it?
If those in public facing roles are so precious they cannot take a joke then they are in the wrong job...Become a faceless bureaucrat instead!!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I'd reckon so too, seeing as the person who unknowingly been sold a fake Oyster card is also a victim of fraud. However, if it was an RPI first happening upon someone with a fake Oyster card they may have reasonable grounds to believe that the holder was intending to travel without paying.
Quite, with strict liability you're on a hiding to nothing - in theory at least.. Just goes to show how ridiculous strict liability is.
 
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westv

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Has anybody been done for using one of these fake passes? The media would have a field day if there was and they made themselves known.
 

Oliver

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I once bought a carnet of (what turned out to be) stolen Paris Metro tickets at Gare de Nord. There was a long queue and the person behind me offered me a carnet for cash. When I used one the cops jumped out and arrested me and the person who'd sold it to me. They'd been hiding behind the grills of the ticket office watching this scam going on. I was taken down the the bowels of the station (white tiled room, to hose down the blood, etc.) The cops told me that thousands of tickets had recently been stolen from a suburban station, and low-lifes were reselling these. They let me go....the bloke who sold them wasn't as lucky.
 

yorkie

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So passengers were illegally using travel cards. I assume using something illegally unknowingly isn't illegal?
No, if a passenger is using an invalid ticket they are committing a strict liability criminal offence, even if they asked for the correct product and fully believed they had sold the correct product.

This is a good reason why the 'strict liability' Railway Byelaw 18 needs to be abolished, see my post on this subject here.
 

CC 72100

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I was taken down the the bowels of the station (white tiled room, to hose down the blood, etc.) The cops told me that thousands of tickets had recently been stolen from a suburban station, and low-lifes were reselling these. They let me go....the bloke who sold them wasn't as lucky.
The depths of Gare du Nord is actually the railway police (in Paris region) headquarters and police station, that's where you'd have been taken.
 

LexyBoy

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You have to wonder sometimes, surely the stress of constantly wondering when you'll be caught wouldn't be worth the amount of money stolen? It's not a life-changing amount - £100k between 5 of them over how many years? Maybe they were just too thick but I doubt it if they were capable of doing their job.

Wow first reply to a topic is a dig at all railstaff, smillie or not! :roll:
Says the man who uses every other post to have a dig at all passengers :lol:
 

Greenback

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You have to wonder sometimes, surely the stress of constantly wondering when you'll be caught wouldn't be worth the amount of money stolen? It's not a life-changing amount - £100k between 5 of them over how many years? Maybe they were just too thick but I doubt it if they were capable of doing their job.
I've often wondered the same thing. Otherwise intelligent people are capable of making catastrophic decisions like this. But then it's easy to be critical when we don't know the type of person they are, their background and financial circumstances. Sometimes the ease which these things can be done and the extra rewards can cloud a person's judgement.

It doesn't make it right, of course, but I have known several people, normally of impeccable character, who have stupidly found themselves in big trouble for a relatively small gain. Some of them were opportunistic, on the spur of the moment type things, but one or two had deliberate plans of various types which they thought they might get away with. Needless to say, they didn't, but it happens in almost all lines of work.
 

Busaholic

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No, if a passenger is using an invalid ticket they are committing a strict liability criminal offence, even if they asked for the correct product and fully believed they had sold the correct product.

This is a good reason why the 'strict liability' Railway Byelaw 18 needs to be abolished, see my post on this subject here.
In my shop I once accepted payment in £50 notes from a well-known artist and personal friend. When I went to pay them into my bank account the cashier informed me one of them was a forgery, so I lost the £50 and was told the matter was automatically being referred to the police (from whom I heard nothing, by the way). I phoned my friend and told him what had happened- he told me I was the third trader who had been in touch with him and he had already been to see the Manager at the local branch of Abbey National (as was) as they had loaded these dud £50 notes into their cash machine. The Manager turned not a hair, admitted 'liability' and immediately refunded him the £150 (NOT in £50 notes).

Is it the legal position then that the unsuspecting customer can put their card into a cash machine, be issued with a batch of fake notes and be pounced on by policemen in wait for such an occurence? This seeme to me to be EXACTLY the same as someone going to a station ticket office and asking the employee there (not someone dodgy in a hoody hanging around) to top their Oyster or whatever up. I cannot believe that such a passenger can possibly have done anything criminal or illegal - this is nothing to do with 'ignorance of the law', the person has no reason to believe, or be in a position to know, that the card is anything other than kosher. If I were ever accused of such a thing under these circumstances I'd be taking the booking office clerk's employees to court for a sizable amount of money.

If somebody legally- qualified can elucidate that would be good, and if I am wrong then the law truly is an ass.
 
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Is this why SWT stopped dealing with oyster cards at the Richmond ticket office or just a coincidence? I got my annual season on an oyster there last December and was wondering where I could get it renewed with SWT so I get the free tickets.
 

Matt Taylor

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A very disappointing case for all concerned, personally I know and have worked with some of these people back when I was a ticket clerk in that area. Unfortunately, as in many other retail situations, where a possibility of fraud exists there will be some that exploit it for their own gain. I hope that the very many decent ticket clerks I have worked with don't feel their professionalism has been tainted by this incident.
 

infobleep

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Is this why SWT stopped dealing with oyster cards at the Richmond ticket office or just a coincidence? I got my annual season on an oyster there last December and was wondering where I could get it renewed with SWT so I get the free tickets.
No they said it was due to the company who design the system taking such a useful feature away. Did the same at Wimbledon. I asked on Twitter some time ago and that was the reason given.
 

HowardGWR

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A very disappointing case for all concerned, personally I know and have worked with some of these people back when I was a ticket clerk in that area. Unfortunately, as in many other retail situations, where a possibility of fraud exists there will be some that exploit it for their own gain. I hope that the very many decent ticket clerks I have worked with don't feel their professionalism has been tainted by this incident.
Great to hear from someone who actually knows the situation, thanks. That is why I get a lot from this list, even if some rail employees are somewhat vitriolic, as I know, because I used to work with them too! If someone had the nickname 'smiler' you knew what to expect! :D
 

drbdrb

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You have to wonder sometimes, surely the stress of constantly wondering when you'll be caught wouldn't be worth the amount of money stolen? It's not a life-changing amount - £100k between 5 of them over how many years? Maybe they were just too thick but I doubt it if they were capable of doing their job
I would suspect it was a classic case of a ringleader or two, and the remainder coerced into going along with it.
 
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