Shopkeeper jailed after $1.3 million paid into his bank account by mistake

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A UK shopkeeper has been jailed for 12 months for stealing almost $A1.3 million dollars that was paid to his account by mistake.

Sandeep Singh, 34, from Leicester, had an ATM installed at his business and would often top up the cash before being reimbursed by the machine’s owner, DC Payments Ltd, the Birmingham Mail reported.

However the company confused Mr Singh’s account with a casino’s account, and deposited various amounts of money into the account over two years – totalling £766,098 ($A1.296 million).

Mr Singh admitted to the theft over the two year period from October 2014 to October 2016, the Leicester Mercury reports..

Following the error the man purchased a home and sent a large sum of around $135,000 to India, but the majority of the money had remained in his account.

The shopkeeper’s bank account had been frozen when the error was realised.

Lynsey Knott, prosecuting said: “There were multiple opportunities to notify DC Payments of the error, including during site visits from the company.”

It is reported that when DC Payments realised there had been an error the company tried to contact Mr Singh, but he had sold his business.

Mr Singh told them at a later date that he had tried to call them about the error, the Leicester Mercury reports.

In Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Dean QC said: “It’s clear to me you’ve been a hardworking man and done the best by your family.

“But you’ve let yourself and them down.”

Martin Liddiard, mitigating, said: “In all, a good £600,000 will be recoverable.

“He hasn’t moved the majority of it, taken it or transferred it.

Mr Liddiard added: “It doesn’t read well (in court documents) that he tried once or twice phoning to bring it to their attention and then left it.”

A proceeds of crime hearing is due later in the year to recover the money.

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