Wednesday 7th June, 2017
A finance director who stole £6 million from his employer over a 16-year period to fund an extravagant lifestyle has been jailed.
He was sentenced to five years and four months’ imprisonment at the Old Bailey after he pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position of trust and false accounting.
The executive finance director worked for ‘The Mediterranean Insurance and Reinsurance Company Limited' (MedRe), a UK-recognised insurer. As a result of his’ actions MedRe was later placed in administration.
The company’s accounts revealed an unsupported debt of £6 million that could be attributed to a number of cheques deposited into Collins’ personal bank accounts. To cover his tracks, Collins had filled in false entries in a ledger and used the phrase ‘other debtors’ to describe the cheque deposits to his own bank accounts.
He said his motive was greed and he used the money on holidays and paying off American Express credit cards.
His credit card statements revealed an extravagant lifestyle, including a £23,015 bill at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Maldives and a bill of almost £50,000 at a tailor’s on Saville Row.
Collins said he carried out the fraud by asking a co-signatory to sign a blank cheque. He would then add his own signature and pay the money into his own account. He said he would then add false details, or instruct his clerk to, in the company ledger.
Detective Sergeant Richard Ward, from the Met’s Fraud Squad, said: “The motive for this crime was greed and he used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle involving expensive foreign holidays and designer goods.
“Fraud is not a victimless crime. Collins’ actions have resulted in a considerable financial loss to the company’s 200 creditors who have been left with losses of more than £10 million. The sentence handed out today reflects the scale of his criminal activity.”