The 'Bubbly' mum who scammed own family out of £500k

Annabelle Allan
-Credit: (Image: Facebook)

A seemingly-normal girl found herself spiralling into a web of deceit and swindling her nearest and dearest out of a staggering half a million pounds.

Annabelle Allan, 29, of Halifax, spun a web of lies around her role at Lloyds Bank to dupe friends and family into pouring cash into a bogus share scheme. The beauty-obsessed scam artist employed "sophisticated" tactics to fleece those closest to her.

Despite appearing to be a bright young woman capable of earning a legitimate income it was her "addiction to money" that landed her behind bars. Allan's LinkedIn page reveals she began her stint as a technician with Lloyds Banking Group in September 2015, having previously worked as an ICT Technician and Service Desk Advisor, reports Yorkshire Live.

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On LinkedIn, she painted herself as a "hardworking, bubbly, enthusiastic and friendly person" with a "thirst for knowledge". She boasted about her IT experience and customer service skills, claiming: "I am very easy to get along with and understand the issues customers are facing when they contact me and I sympathise with this."

Her profile on social media described a dynamic individual with a myriad of interests. She noted her eagerness to learn new skills and talked up her hobbies which included dancing, going to the gym, skiing, and socialising with friends. She added: "I am always trying new hobbies with my friends as I love learning and pushing myself to be able to achieve things. I am excited to see where my career within IT takes me as I learn and develop.

"I often get asked where I would like to be in 5-10 years time and honestly I don't have an answer. The only answer I am sure of is that it will be in IT."

Annabelle Allan in 2018

Companies House records revealed Allan established Annabelle's Beauty Ltd on January 5, 2019, which ultimately was dissolved on November 3, 2021. She even showcased her beauty expertise on her Facebook page where a client lauded her services in 2019 saying "Annabelle's made my eyelashes amazing yet again."

Records showed that she set up a second business Annabelle Maisie Trade Ltd, with a registered office in Keighley, West Yorkshire, in January last year. Other posts on her profile present her as family oriented, with several posts from her close relatives calling her "a beauty" as well as images of her two children.

But behind the facade of a "bubbly" young woman with a "thirst for knowledge" lurked a much darker mind. On Tuesday, June 18, Bradford Crown Court was told about Allan's descent into crime which began in 2017 amidst her own financial struggles.

Prosecutor Marte Alnaes gave an account of Allan's criminal activities to the court, revealing that she started by fraudulently taking out personal loans in her brother's name without his consent. Ms Alnaes highlighted these actions left her brother with an outstanding debt exceeding £16,600 and even led to a county court judgement against him.

Ms Alnaes added that Allan's brother, having spent months trying to "clear his name", felt he had no choice but to support the police in bringing charges against his sister. Between 2017 and 2019, Allan exploited her IT role at a Lloyds Bank data centre to concoct a "detailed and convincing" phony share scheme, duping family, friends, and acquaintances to part with their money.

Allan managed to swindle close to £500,000 during this time, although nearly £330,000 was "recycled" back to the investors, the court heard. Some victims were compensated by Lloyds Bank, yet there remains an unaccounted sum of £167,796.40.

The court also learned that Allan had falsified signatures and sent investors counterfeit letters pretending to be from the police or solicitors. Lloyds Bank caught wind of Allan's schemes in early 2019, leading to her suspension and eventual dismissal four months later.

In court, Allan's barrister Recorder Bryan Cox KC detailed how Allan became trapped in a "vicious cycle of debt" following a payday loan she took out at the age of 18. She was jailed for four years.

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