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National Express Team Leader jalied for £83k Eurostar fraud


A RAIL centre crook is behind bars after running an £83,000 Eurostar fraud to fund his gambling addiction.

David Tofield was a trusted team leader at the National Express call centre in Newcastle, handling thousands of ticket inquiries.

But cash-strapped Tofield had turned a gambling hobby into a devastating habit as he tried to meet mortgage payments and he began creating bogus refunds for Eurostar trips then processed the payouts to his own banks.

By the time the “unsophisticated” scheme was finally uncovered, Tofield had swindled more than £83,000 - and blown the lot.

Jailing him for a year at Newcastle Crown Court, Mr Justice Openshaw said: “Facing a financial crisis he turned unwisely to what had been recreational gambling to get him out of his trouble and like everybody else he began to lose.

“It must plainly be voiced that employees who steal substantial sums of money can and will receive substantial sentences of imprisonment.”

Tofield, 42, of Castlewood Close, West Denton, had admitted five fraud charges and another of false accounting at an earlier hearing. The charges cover January 2005 to April last year.

Investigations revealed he had searched through old records to get customer names then generated the false Eurostar refunds.

The cash was then moved into two accounts he held at Capital One and Lloyds TSB, as well as a third in the name of his unsuspecting mother, the court heard.

Tofield had even been electronically transferring huge sums straight to his high street bookie, the court heard.

“Over a three year period £21,721 had been deposited into his William Hill account,” said Jane Hastings, prosecuting.

“He would then gamble at various William Hill establishments.”

Tofield has already paid back £70,000 in pension and contributions to National Express, the court heard.

“The assessment is of a man who has genuine remorse, who has endeavoured to rid himself of this curse, and believes he has,” said Peter Walsh, defending

Read More http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north-east-news/evening-chronicle-news/2011/03/17/gambler-jailed-over-83-eurostar-swindle-72703-28353526/#ixzz1Gw1y1FJD
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