Pair made bogus refunds to seven friends who have admitted money laundering; sentencing in May

Two former employees of Serco, the company that operates London’s Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme, have been pleaded guilty of fraud after making bogus refund payments through the scheme totalling £46,000 to friends.

Nana Boateng of Enfield and Jose Dias from Clapton, both aged 26, each admitted on one count of fraud by abuse of position at Southwark Crown Court, reports BBC News. The court was told that the fraud took place between September and December 2010.

Although details of how they misappropriated the money was not reported, the early months of the scheme, launched in July 2010, saw Transport for London (TfL) have to refund may members who had been incorrectly billed.

In the vast majority of cases, those refunds were for fairly small amounts of between £1 and £10, but in September 2010 we reported about one member who was refunded £900 and also given £200 compensation after he was repeatedly charged for non-return of bikes due a fault with docking stations.

Also appearing at Southwark Crown Court was another former Serco employee, Devina Joseph-Albert, aged 22 and from Clapton, pleaded guilty to a charge of money laundering, as did six other defendants at an earlier hearing.

Those are her brother Darnel Joseph Albert, aged 20 and Elizabeth Spencer, aged 36, both also from Clapton, 24-year-old Zakir Bhad from Forest Gate, Samuel Njie, 26, of Leyton, and George Hayden, 30, and Sakinah MacAuley, both of Enfield.

All nine are due to be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on 11 May.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.