Gospel Oak estate agent and South Hampstead man deny taking part in £1.3million Barclays cyber fraud

PUBLISHED: 16:10 18 December 2013 | UPDATED: 16:10 18 December 2013

The Barclays branch in Swiss Cottage which the defendants are alleged to have defrauded. Picture: PA/Nick Ansell

The Barclays branch in Swiss Cottage which the defendants are alleged to have defrauded. Picture: PA/Nick Ansell

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A Gospel Oak estate agent and former Barclays bank employee from South Hampstead have denied taking part in an alleged £1.3million cyber fraud at Barclays in Swiss Cottage.

Michael Harper, 26, an estate agent of Kiln Place, Gospel Oak, and Duane Jean-Jaques, 24, a former Barclays employee of Belsize Road, South Hampstead, appeared alongside 12 other defendants at Southwark Crown Court last Friday.

Jean-Jaques denied conspiring to steal £1.3 million of credit balances from Barclays before diverting the cash to 41 separate bank accounts on April 5 this year.

He also pleaded not guilty to concealing criminal property, namely the credit balances from Barclays.

Harper denied a charge of using stolen credit card details on or before September 19.

The men were arrested in October by the Metropolitan Police’s Cyber Crime Unit as part of investigations into the theft at the Finchley Road branch of Barclays in April.

The pair are alleged to be part of a group which gained access to accounts by taking control of the bank’s computer system.

Last Friday, prosecutors told the court Tony Colston-Hayter, 48, of no fixed abode, and Lanre Mullins Abudu, 25, of Putney, Wandsworth, were ringleaders in a gang which stole card details belonging to hundreds of thousands of people and raided Barclays and Santander branches using special devices.

A further 10 alleged co-conspirators, in addition to Harper and Jean-Jaques, also denied involvement in the offences, which all took place this year.

Judge Michael Gledhill QC adjourned the plea and case management hearing until January 13.

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