Offender's Falkirk bank fraud plan to get dead partner's cash

A thieving drug addict committed fraud to get his hands on over £450 from his partner’s bank account just three days after her tragic death. note-0

By Court Reporter
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 2:28 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2022, 5:58 pm

Edward Johnston (33) “acted with another identity” pretending to be a woman – now deceased – so a bank would transfer £454.65 to him.

Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court today, Johnston had pleaded guilty to the fraud at Lloyds TSB, High Street, Falkirk on February 10 last year.

The court heard Johnston’s partner had died, aged 27 in February last year after taking Johnston’s methadone.

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Johnston committed fraud at the Falkirk branch of the TSB

Procurator fiscal depute Danielle McDonald said Johnston began trying to transfer the money from his partner’s account three days after she had died.

She added: “During the course of their relationship they used each other’s bank accounts to access money between them. A call to the TSB came in and displayed on

the staff member’s screen as being that of the accused’s partner.

"The person on the phone identified herself as being the accused’s partner – she had a female voice and a Scottish accent – and three security questions were answered by the caller.

"She stated she had lost her bank card and required a new one to be sent to her home address. She requested the remaining funds in her account be transferred to her brother Edward Johnston.”

At 1pm on the same day, Johnston turned up at the Falkirk branch of the TSB looking to withdraw the money from his account.

However, it had not yet been transferred and he was asked to wait because there was no money in his account.

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"After making a mobile phone call he asked them to check his balance again,” said the procurator fiscal depute. “There was now money in the account and he asked to withdraw £154, leaving £300 in his account.”

Johnston’s fraud was discovered when staff notice Facebook messages about his partner’s death and realised she had supposedly somehow transferred the money from her account three days after her death.

The TSB fraud team carried out further investigations and the money was refunded back into Johnston’s dead partner’s account.

When police caught up with Johnston on an unrelated matter when he was at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and found him in possession of a bank card in his dead partner’s name he told them “I’m bang guilty for it, I did it aye”.

The court heard Johnston and his dead partner did share a bank the money in their bacnk accounts while she was alive and he had been looking to get back some money.

However, he admitted he took more than he was due and now realised what he did was not the right way to go about things.

Sheriff Craif Harris placed Johnston, who now lives in the North Lanarkshire area, on a drug treatment and testing order for 18 months and made him subject to a restriction of liberty order, meaning he cannot leave his house between 7pm and 7am for the next 60 days.