A ‘skint’ woman has admitted allowing criminals to launder £10,000 of stolen money through her bank account.
Andrea Leek, of Spring Street Rishton, was told how ‘someone would pay money into her account and she would get £300’.
The laundered money was part of a £30,000 sum stolen from a woman in Oxford after she was defrauded by people over the phone claiming to be from Visa and HSBC.
The money was later equally split to three women in December 2013, including Leek, who then withdrew it from their bank accounts.
Leek pleaded guilty to possessing criminal property and given a 12 month community order with 80 hours unpaid work at Burnley Crown Court.
When arrested she told officers that she was ‘skint’ coming up to Christmas and had spoken to a man who said ‘he knew someone who would pay money into her account and she would get £300’.
Leek, 44, said she thought it was a loan and a man later arrived at her home in a taxi telling her he needed her bank card.
He then came back 10 minutes later and said she needed to go with him to the Barclays branch in Accrington and told her to withdraw around £4,800.
Leek told officers she ‘thought it didn’t sound right’ and after withdrawing the money was ‘very uncomfortable’. They then went to another Barclays branch in Blackburn and she withdrew a similar sum but told the man she ‘didn’t want to do it as it didn’t feel right’.
Leek was later dropped off on Hermitage Street in Rishton and withdrew £300 from the Post Office ATM before she went to her daughters and ‘broke down’. Ahmed Nadim, defending Leek, told the court how she tried to help the investigation by giving phone numbers to the police and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
Judge Beverley Lunt said: “You were preyed on by those who knew you were vulnerable to the suggestion of earning what must seem like easy money. It’s very sad with no previous convictions you should be in the crown court today putting all of your life at risk.”
Anette Isles, 31, of Rutland Place, Padiham and Razia Ahmad, 53, of Aytoun Road, Glasgow also pleaded guilty to the same offence. Isles was given a 12 month community order with supervision and Ahmad was given an eight month jail term, suspended for two years with 120 hours unpaid work.