A veteran fraudster, who adopted a stranger’s persona during a £5,000 bank sting, was exposed by staff and arrested by police when his story unravelled.
John Edward Henderson, 66, of Founders House, Carmel College, Carmel Terrace, Mongewell, Wallingford, Oxfordshire says he was recruited because his age matched the real victim.
The former Marks & Spencer personal assistant pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation at Lloyds Bank, Heath Road, Twickenham on December 8, last year.
He also pleaded guilty to possessing articles for use in fraud, namely a fraudulent driving licence and bank card.
Prosecutor Miss Caroline Mungal told Wimbledon Magistrates Court it was 1.30pm when Henderson walked into the branch and tried to withdraw the sum.
He had a bank card in the name of Thomas Joseph Lott, but did not know the PIN and attempted to complete the scam by forging the victim’s signature.
Bank staff were unhappy about the signature and did not believe the driving licence he produced in Mr. Lott’s name, with a date of birth of 1950, was genuine.
There was also evidence the bank card had been tampered with and when Mr. Lott was telephoned at work he confirmed his business had been a target of fraudsters previously.
“Police were called and Henderson claimed the account belonged to a friend of his, but was reluctant to give any name and repeatedly said: “It’s my friend’s.”
The court heard Henderson voluntarily works with the homeless in Oxford and Reading and was hired by one young man who is a drug-user.
He claimed he was driven to the bank by people behind the fraud and instructed on what to do and say.
Henderson said he felt “under pressure” and was not going to gain financially himself.
A probation officer described him to the court as “naive” and somebody who had tried to help others over the years, but in this occasion it “backfired.”
Henderson was bailed to return to court for sentencing on July 21.