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 By PA Sport

Southend United's Nile Ranger admits online banking fraud

Nile Ranger, pictured in 2014, currently plays for Southend United.

Former Premier League striker Nile Ranger has admitted an online banking fraud after a woman was fleeced out of more than £2,000.

The 25-year-old Southend United footballer appeared at Wood Green Crown Court accused of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering alongside Reanne Morgan, 18, and Aseany Duncan, 19, both from Enfield, north London.

Ranger pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud -- namely that on Feb. 18, 2015 he conspired with persons unknown to defraud Diane Bloss, by obtaining her personal online banking details and transferring by way of an online transaction £2,090.23 from an HSBC account to a Santander account.

Ranger, wearing a green jacket and dark jeans, pleaded not guilty to a second count of money laundering, with prosecutor Catherine Rabaiotti telling the court the charge will lie on file.

Morgan and Duncan pleaded not guilty to the same two counts.

Duncan is also accused of possessing an article for use in fraud, namely a mobile phone containing the personal banking information of 500 people, which he pleaded not guilty to.

Ranger, from north London, has played for Newcastle and England under-19s, moving to Southend in 2012.

Requesting a pre-sentence report for Ranger, Angus Bunyan, defending, told the court: "He is 25 years old and although he has some previous convictions, the only serious one was 10 years ago or more."

Addressing the defendants, Judge Peter Ader warned them about the consequences of not appearing in court for the trial.

He said it is a "bit like the other team do not turn up for the match. They are going to lose. Do you follow?

"It is not a threat, I'm just telling you how it is."

He later asked them if they could remember the provisional date for their trial.

When they did not respond, he said: "It may be the most important thing in your lives. It could be the difference between going to prison or being free."

Morgan replied: "April 24?"

Judge Ader said: "Yes, well done."

Morgan and Duncan will appear at the same court for the trial beginning on April 24.

Ranger will be sentenced after the trial.

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