Accountant Robert Hulme has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to three charges of money laundering at the Central Criminal Court.
Hulme was involved in a plot to steal almost £24 million from HSBC and hide the money in a number of european companies, but after suspicions were raised the fraud was never carried out.
Cash was stolen from individual accounts and then transferred to a number of different companies.
The fraud came to light when the financial authorities questioned a transfer of £72 million of cash by an employee at HSBC at Canary Wharf.
Judge Anthony Leonard QC told him: “I do not accept this is any different from, for example, drug money. “This was a large-scale fraud on the banking system.”
When sentencing, the judge said that he believed Hulme was already living off money gained by fraudulent actions. Hulme’s sentence is to run consecutively with a nine-year sentence imposed on him in 2008 for a £55 million VAT fraud.
Keith Mitchell, defending the 52 year old man, told the court that Hulme had lost his wife and home, saying: “He has lost everything.” In July 2008, former HSBC clerk Jagmeet Channa was jailed for nine years for illegally transferring £72 million out of the bank.