Saturday, 7 April 2012

Gosport Borough Council fraudster behind bars for accounting scam

AN ACCOUNTANT who stole more than £300,000 from tax payers to fund a gambling habit has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Conway Warner was working as an accountancy officer for Gosport Borough Council when he carried out 17 fraudulent transactions which netted him a total of £307,810.15 over a nine-month period.

The fraud was not discovered until shortly after the 35-year-old took voluntary redundancy in June 2011.

Judge Ian Pearson said: ‘This was a long-term and fairly sophisticated fraud, it was a significant and gross breach of trust. Your job meant a high degree of trust was invested in you by your employers and you abused that.

‘What makes it worse is that you attempted to blame another colleague by using her details.

‘Gosport Borough Council is not a particularly large or rich authority and much of its area could be described as deprived.

‘This will have a significant effect on public confidence in local authorities.’

Gosport Borough Council’s leader, Cllr Mark Hook, said there was no loss to the public purse as the money was covered by insurance. But he added: ‘I hope this acts as a deterrent to anyone else in local authority public finance. We have put safeguards in place to ensure this never happens again.’

My comment: Where were the safeguards to stop it happening in the first place? 

Read the full story from the source The Portsmouth News

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