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Head of Finance jailed for stealing £2.9m from his employer

Wednesday 15th July, 2020

A finance manager has been jailed after he created two fake payments worth £2.9m, from his employer to HMRC, and then he diverted the funds to support a luxury lifestyle.

He was sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to two offences of Fraud by Abuse of Position and one offence of Creating Articles for use in Fraud.

The police launched their investigation following a referral from the Credit Industriel et Commercial Bank that he worked at. He held the position of Head of Finance, Accounting, Reporting and Tax, and just under a year into the role, he submitted the first of two fraudulent payment requests.

Detective Constable Richard Cole, who led the investigation for the City of London Police’s Fraud Squad, said: “Olver betrayed the trust of his employer and used his position to steal nearly £3 million pounds. Despite claiming in his interview that he needed the money for debt payments, it’s evident that he also used it to enjoy a luxury lifestyle, purchasing expensive items such as watches and jewellery.”

The payment request was supposedly a payment of £479,044 to HMRC to settle an outstanding corporation tax bill for 2017. However, he substituted his own bank account details in place of HMRC’s details, and named his account ‘HMRC Cumbernauld’ to make the transaction appear more genuine.

Two weeks later, he submitted another payment request in the same way as the first, worth £2,477,122. Again, it was supposedly being paid to HMRC to settle an outstanding corporation tax bill.

Following these payments, his bank informed his employer of two very large and suspicious payments into his account.

The Fraud Squad also discovered that he had copied his manager’s signature, from the previous two fraudulent payment requests, with the intention of submitting a third worth £1,550,000.