Spectre of employee fraud returns as IT guy steals from bank

8 Jul 2009

A computer worker with Bank of Ireland is in court this week over allegedly bumping up the overdraft limit on his girlfriend’s bank account by €40,000.

The news should send a shiver of fear down employers’ spines as the ability for employees to easily cause havoc via internal computing systems is apparent.

Wiktor Wolcaski said he needed the money to pay for a medical operation for his girlfriend.

He pleaded guilty to seven counts of theft and using a computer for fraud in March and February 2008.

It is understood that Polish native Wolcaski moved to Ireland in 2005 and was employed in the debt recovery unit of Bank of Ireland.

His girlfriend opened an account with Bank of Ireland in September 2007, and shortly afterwards Wolcaski began to gradually alter her account by increasing its overdraft and credit rating.

Wolcaski is understood to have increased the daily withdrawal limit to €1,300 a day. Several increases later and his girlfriend’s overdraft limit reached €47,000.

He then began to go to ATMs around Dublin on a daily basis to withdraw maximum allowed sums of cash from the bank account.

The bank’s fraud detection unit became alerted to the withdrawals and began an investigation. Because all the changes to the overdrafts were easily mapped back to Wolcaski’s username, it turned out to be a rather swift investigation and he was promptly arrested.

Wolcaski’s girlfriend knew nothing of the withdrawals and hasn’t been charged.

Bank of Ireland was able to recover most of the money from Wolcaski’s home and he recently paid an outstanding balance of €3,000 to the bank.

The case continues.

By John Kennedy