Friday May 3, 2013 :  ACCOUNTANT IN TROUBLE OVER INTERNET GAMBLING
 
Accused diverted over GBP 155,000 of his employer's money
 
Vimal Patel, A 30-year-old accountant in Lewes, England, has been found guilty of stealing GBP 155,012 from the dental group where he worked, diverting the money from the company accounts to his own bank account to support an online gambling habit.
 
The fraudulent activity took place between May 2011, soon after he joined the company, and February 2012, the Lewes Crown Court was informed by prosecutors this week after Patel had pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud by abuse of position.
 
The court heard that the dental company still has outstanding losses of GBP 97,315.89 due to Patel's crimes, but that he has paid back GBP 57,696.31 from his winnings.
 
Patel's lawyer said: "There are debits and credits worth GBP 900,000 going in and out of his own bank account to Don GB, an affiliate of Bet 365.
 
"In a way you could say it was a stupid thing to do because there was no false identification, he used his own bank account."
 
Sentencing Patel to a two-year prison term, suspended for two years, Judge Guy Anthony said he came to the conclusion it was "just about" possible to suspend Patel's jail term due to his previous good character, letters of support he had received and a new job he has managed to secure.
 
Judge Anthony added: "Over a course of several months you stole from your employer who trusted you to deal with their financial matters.
 
"You took part in high-stakes gambling and, although you paid about a third of the money back, the company is still nearly GBP 100,000 out of pocket."
 
While suspending the prison term, Judge Anthony said Patel must carry out 300 hours of unpaid work and pay back the remaining GBP 97,315.89.