A FORMER Nationwide employee stole thousands from customers paying their mortgages, a court has heard.

Alexander Obiefule targeted 13 customers when he worked for the building society in 2016. In total, he carried out 52 fraudulent transactions totalling more than £4,900.

This week, Obiefule, 30 and of Derby Road in Bournemouth, appeared at Poole Magistrates' Court to be sentenced after admitted 13 counts of fraud by false representation.

Magistrates heard Obiefule worked for the Nationwide Building Society Mortgage Works call centre in Bournemouth when he committed the string of offences.

As part of his job, he took bank details from customers so they could pay back their mortgages.

However, between July 2016 and November 2016 Obiefule used the bank details of victims he spoke to on the phone to carry out scores of fraudulent card transactions.

The crime came to light on November 22 2016, when two customers said their bank cards had been used fraudulently after they contacted the call centre and spoke to Obiefule.

The matter was reported to Dorset Police on the following day, November 23, and officers arrested the defendant at the call centre that day.

Officers then launched a long and detailed investigation into the claims.

They worked with Nationwide's fraud unit to identify a further 11 victims.

Obiefule was re-arrested in April 2019 and made full admissions in police interview.

All 13 victims have been fully refunded.

Detective Constable Rob Fletcher, of Dorset Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “Alexander Obiefule abused his position and used it to take money from innocent victims.

“We will do all we can to bring prolific offenders like Obiefule before the court.”