Mask of a 'hardworking, bubbly' bank worker that hid criminal mastermind who was ‘addicted to money’

Annabelle Allan in 2018
-Credit: (Image: Facebook)

How did a seemingly normal girl from Halifax fall down a path of deception which led her to con her own family and friends in a scam worth half a million pounds?

Mother of two, 29-year-old Annabelle Allan, used her job with Lloyds Bank as “cover” to trick friends and family - including her own brother - into investing in a fake share scheme.

The beauty-loving criminal mastermind used “sophisticated” methods in order to con those closest to her. The seemingly intelligent young woman could have earnt an honest living for herself, but instead her “addiction to money” led her straight to prison.

Read more: Lloyds Bank worker used job as 'cover' to con friends and family in £500,000 shares scam

According to her LinkedIn profile, Allan started working as a technician at Lloyds Banking Group in September 2015. Prior to that she had worked as an ICT Technician and a Service Desk Advisor.

On her profile, she describes herself as a “hardworking, bubbly, enthusiastic and friendly person” who has a “thirst for knowledge”. She goes on to talk about her experience working in IT and says she is “very good at dealing with customers”. She writes: “I am very easy to get along with and understand the issues customers are facing when they contact me and I sympathise with this.”

Allan also says that she “thrives off learning new skills” and enjoys participating in hobbies including dancing, going to the gym, skiing and meeting up with friends.

It is clear that the mum-of-two was not predicting a spell behind bars for herself as she adds: “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.”

And her hobbies include "dancing, going to the gym, skiing, meeting up with friends, baking, motorbiking and learning new skills". She writes: "I am always trying new hobbies with my friends as I love learning and pushing myself to be able to acheive things. I am excited to see where my career within IT takes me as I learn and develop."

Annabelle Allan
Annabelle Allan -Credit:Facebook

It appears that the criminal mastermind also had a passion for all things hair and beauty. Her Companies House shows that she set up the hair and beauty business Annabelle’s Beauty Ltd on January 5, 2019, however this went on to be dissolved on November 3, 2021.

Her Facebook page shows further details of the beauty business, with a client in 2019 sharing a photo of her lash extensions with the caption: “Annabelle’s made my eyelashes amazing yet again.”

Further records show that she set up a second business Annabelle Maisie Trade Ltd, with a registered office in Keighley, West Yorkshire, in January last year.

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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 mask of a “bubbly” young woman who had a “thirst of knowledge” lay a much darker mind. On Tuesday, June 18, Bradford Crown Court heard how Allan began her offending back in 2017 when she was said to have been struggling with her own debts.

Annabelle Allan has been jailed
Annabelle Allan has been jailed -Credit:West Yorkshire Police

Prosecutor Marte Alnaes outlined details of Allan’s offending to the court, which started with her taking out personal loans in her brother’s name without his knowledge. Ms Alnaes said those offences had resulted in an outstanding debt of more than £16,600 and her brother had had a county court judgement made against him at one stage.

She said her brother had spent months trying to “clear his name” and he had no option but to support the police in prosecuting his sister. Ms Alnaes said between 2017 and 2019, Allan also used her IT position at a Lloyds Bank data centre to devise a “detailed and convincing” fake share scheme before encouraging family, friends and acquaintances to invest in it.

Over that period Allan was said to have obtained just under £500,000, but almost £330,000 had been “recycled” back to investors. The court heard that some victims had also been reimbursed by Lloyds Bank, but there was still an unaccounted sum of £167,796.40.

Allan was said to have forged signatures and sent investors fake letters purporting to be from the police or solicitors. Lloyds Bank investigated Allan’s activities in early 2019 and after being suspended she was dismissed four months later.

In Court, Allan’s barrister Recorder Bryan Cox KC explained how Allan fell into a “vicious cycle of debt” after taking out a Payday loan when she was 18.