Friday 25th August, 2017
A “greedy” finances director who siphoned millions of pounds from his employer and frittered away a fortune on expensive suits and luxury holidays has been jailed.
For more than 16 years, Michael Collins stole £6 million while working as an executive finance director for London-based insurer.
Following analysis of the company’s accounts, a huge unsupported debt was uncovered, that was linked to numerous cheques deposited into the 66-year-old’s personal bank accounts.
The fraudster filled in false entries in a ledger and used the phrase "other debtors" to describe the cheque deposits to cover his tracks.
The company, The Mediterranean Insurance and Reinsurance Company Limited, was unable to pay more than £10 million to its creditors and was put into administration in December 2015.
Mr Collins told officers he spent the cash on holidays and paying off his credit cards, which he used to fund an extravagant lifestyle.
He racked up a £23,015 bill at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Maldives and spent almost £50,000 at a tailor's on Savile Row.
Collins said he carried out the fraud by asking a co-signatory to sign a blank cheque before adding his own signature and paying the money into his account.
He said he would then add false details, or instruct his clerk to, in the company ledger.
Collins pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position of trust and false accounting and was jailed at the Old Bailey for five years and four months.