Thursday 23rd August, 2018
A gang of five men who defrauded Melton Borough Council of more than £200,000 through an email scam have been sentenced at Leicester Crown Court.
In August 2013 the council received an email it believed to be genuine making a plausible request to change the bank details of a supplier.
A month later the legitimate organisation contacted the council to chase some unpaid invoices and the deception came to light.
Det Con Andy Cree, from Leicestershire Police's economic crime unit, said, the force worked with officers in Police Scotland and conducted inquiries in Ireland to trace the missing money.
"The five defendants believed they were untouchable and by using various bank accounts to move the money, they thought they were covering their tracks."
A spokesman for Melton Borough Council said it "followed our procedures" and carried out an audit, retraining and fraud awareness exercises with staff following the incident.
Council leader Joe Orson said the authority "remains out of pocket" and is seeking to recover further funds through the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The five men involved in the fraud have been sentenced to a total of eight and a half years in prison, although every sentence apart from one was suspended.