A BANK worker who sold customers details as part of a £55,000 fraud is facing prison.

Mukul Bhatia, 22, appeared before Southend Magistrates Court where he admitted fraud by abuse of position over a four month period.

He had been working part-time for Lloyds TSB, in Southend, as a data entry clerk and would take customers’ details over the phone.

But he was then approached by a man named ‘Zack’ who is believed to have gone to the same college as him.

He offered to pay him in exchange for the data he was able to get hold of about customers accounts.

In total he accessed 21 credit card and bank accounts between December 2008 and April 2009. Bhatia, of Mendip Crescent, Westcliff, was only told he would get £100 per each account handed over.

He never saw the thousands of pounds in profits made as part of the fraud. Glenda Thompson, prosecuting, said he had tried to stop but had got in too deep.

She said: “He had realised after providing five such details that it wasn’t right, wanted to stop, but threats were made to him by Zack that he would cause harm to his family.”

The Crown Prosecution Service said the total loss to the bank had been £44,114.

But the total fraud activity actually amounted to £55,679 as some of it was discovered before a loss was made.

Distict Judge John Woollard said: “The aggravating factor in this case is that the fraud is from his employer.”

Mrs Thompson agreed: “He’s abused his position of trust.”

The court heard that the starting point for sentencing would be 12 months in prison. It was decided that the case was too serious to be dealth with at magistrates couty.

Bhatia was bailed to appear at Basildon Crown Court for sentence on December 3.