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Glasgow banker who blew money on lavish lifestyle jailed

He spent the money on adult entertainment, top restaurants, the Savoy Hotel, and female associates. Picture: Allan Milligan

He spent the money on adult entertainment, top restaurants, the Savoy Hotel, and female associates. Picture: Allan Milligan

  • by ASHLIE MCANALLY
 

A HIGH-flying banker described as a “rising star” has been jailed for two years after embezzling almost £400,000 from Morgan Stanley and spending it on a lavish lifestyle including drugs and prostitutes.

George Kalmar, 39, had junior employees transfer money between accounts from September 2012 to February this year and pocketed the cash.

He spent the money on “adult” entertainment, top restaurants, the Savoy Hotel, and female associates.

As the vice-president of the European settlement department, Kalmar knew how the bank procedures worked.

But suspicion was aroused when it was spotted that sizeable amounts had been transferred between accounts and large single payments of up to and over £70,000 were made to bars and restaurants.

Two employees were sacked and two resigned after Kalmar’s crimes came to light.

After investigations, Kalmar admitted everything.

Kalmar, from Glasgow, pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to embezzling £387,891 and $23,500 (£14,500) by transferring money to dormant accounts and then to personal and other accounts.

Passing sentence yesterday, Sheriff John Baird told him: “Obviously, the only appropriate sentence for this matter is custodial.”

The court was told Kalmar began working for the bank in January 2007 in Budapest, but later moved to the headquarters in Glasgow.

His former staff described him as “charismatic” with a “powerful personality”.

Procurator fiscal depute Laura Millar said: “Kalmar was fully aware of the pressures on his department. He also knew that as he was not only significantly senior and more experienced than many of those who worked for him, but trusted by them, any input request made by him was unlikely to be questioned or closely scrutinised.”

The court was told that by the time the fraud was discovered, Kalmar had spent or transferred most of the money, the majority of it spent on “adult” entertainment and drugs.

Miss Millar said: “The other accounts to which Kalmar directly transferred funds either belonged to or were linked to a number of female associates in London and Albania.”

She added that these “female associates” were women who provided adult entertainment and that some of them were prostitutes.

There were other payments, including £5,500 spent at the Tower Bar & Brasserie in London, and numerous cash withdrawals of up to £6,000.

Other “sizeable” payments included one to Nobu Berkeley St, a top restaurant in London’s Mayfair. It is one of the most popular celebrity spots in the UK and is co-owned by actor Robert de Niro.

The court also heard that he had previously been jailed for 40 months for assaulting a drug dealer in the United States during the 1990s.

A hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act will take place at a later date.

 

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