An office manager who committed fraud and spent her stolen money on designer clothes, expensive holidays, private education and a villa in Spain has been jailed for four and a half years.
Susan Anderson siphoned off money from her employer for almost a decade, using a company card to buy handbags and accessories and stealing around £100,000 from petty cash from the hedge fund business where she worked.
Despite being on a salary of only £65,000 plus bonuses when her fraud was discovered in 2018, she had lied about her earnings to obtain an £800,000 mortgage and ordered large sums of foreign currency then falsified the paperwork to make it look as though it had been spent on legitimate company expenses.
In total, she is thought to have stolen £2.7 million over the nine years. In what the prosecution described as “widespread and extensive fraud”
The firm brought a private prosecution against Anderson, who had worked for them for more than 25 years, and she pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by abuse of position and one of fraud by false representation.
As the prosecution put it, Anderson’s “trusted position” was key to her ability to commit the offences but this belief in someone can sometimes be a barrier to ordering a forensic investigation; it is very hard to accept that someone in a position of trust who has been with a firm for decades could be capable of stealing from it but once a suspicion takes hold, it is also important to get the facts.
Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon said: “In a situation like this the funds will have needed to have been traced, and the skills and experience of a forensic accountant will have been invaluable.
“A forensic accountant will scrutinise all financial transactions and other evidence, often matching up invoices with purchase orders and investigating the provenance of any orders.”
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