Former finance manager to serve prison term
Andrew Ward, a former finance manager in of a company in Suffolk, England, is headed to jail after gambling stolen funds from his workplace.
A judge sentenced Ward to 28 months in prison after he stole £470,000 ($605,675.21) in company money from Bardwell-based business Toolbox Marketing to fund his gambling addiction.
judge sentenced Ward to 28 months in prison
Ward used his position of finance manager to obtain the company cash. Of the £470,000 ($605,675.21) that he stole, Ward was able to repay £340,000 ($438,148.03). However, £130,000 ($167,530.95) remains missing.
Five-month gambling scheme
Ward had plans to spend time gambling the stolen funds and gain £130,000 ($167,530.95) for himself. The gambling spree with company money lasted from September 1, 2018 until March 18, 2019. Having started working at Toolbox Marketing in September 2018, he wasted no time in putting his scheme into action.
The marketing firm discovered Ward’s fraudulent behavior once another employee started voicing concerns over the company’s financial accounts. Workers had found discrepancies and began to question where the money was going. Ward eventually confessed to taking the money and asked his employers to avoid contacting the police.
During the court hearing of the case, documents revealed that a fellow employee had questioned Ward about the monetary discrepancies. When approached, Ward was reportedly evasive and became aggressive.
Impact on the business
The fraudulent behavior of their former employee affected Toolbox Marketing in several ways. Initially, they spent 150 hours reviewing the accounts to detect fraudulent activity. The company paid a total of £17,000 in legal and accountant fees on the matter.
company paid a total of £17,000 in legal and accountant fees
Judge David Pugh, presiding over the case, described the fraud as an activity as a “gross breach of trust.” He added that in 2016, Ward was also cautioned for a fraudulent offense by abuse of position of a less serious nature, indicating he was not of previous good character.