A MAN who lent his bank account to fraudsters laundering money in a £132,000 scam has received a suspended sentence.

Alexander Taylor, 23, of Harlow Moor Drive, Harrogate, was sentenced after pleading guilty to entering into or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement.

The court heard Taylor, a vulnerable man with mental-health problems, was approached by “friends of a friend” and persuaded to hand over a bank card so his account could receive illegal funds, with the promise of money in return.

Defence barrister Hilary Manley said he did not receive anything before bank staff noticed the scam last summer.

Prosecutor Nick Adlington said the fraud hit support services and construction company Interserve, which regularly employs subcontractors supplied by Resourcing Group.

The fraudsters sent a bogus email to Interserve providing new bank details for Resourcing Group, leading to Interserve transferring £132,752.94 into the “new” account – in payment for various invoices.

Staff at Lloyds TSB branches in North Yorkshire noticed the large sums being transferred into unemployed Taylor’s accounts and asked for paperwork proving the money was legal, Mr Adlington added.

He was arrested after being identified from CCTV footage at the Ripon branch where a black female companion took a leading role in the discussions.

Since the fraud began around £32,000 was withdrawn from the account all over the country, while the remaining £100,000 is frozen in Taylor’s account.

Taylor received a nine-month prison sentence suspended over 18 months for the crime, with a 12 month supervision order and 120 hours of unpaid work.