Thursday March 19, 2015 : ACCOUNTS MANAGER FED GAMBLING PROBLEM BY STEALING
Out of control accounting professional bet almost daily, using £4.5 million stolen from employers.
The Birmingham Crown Court heard this week how a bright young professional accounts manager was able to steal a total of £4.5 million from two of his employers to bet almost daily with major UK online gambling groups Ladbrokes and Betfred.
Described as a “young professional with the world at his feet”, 34-year-old Terry Childress was sentenced to five years in jail after pleading guilty to offences that occurred at two of his real estate employers over the period 2007 to 2012.
So complex was his systematic thieving that he had already left the employ of one of the complainants before his stealing was uncovered in a routine accounts review which triggered a major forensic examination by a top audit company.
That discovered 60 fraudulent transactions totalling £1.6 million. The enquiry, which included a High Court order for an investigation of Childress's banking activity, also uncovered a further 80 fraudulent transactions worth £3 million which Childress had made at his second employer.
The court heard that Childress falsified receipts for rental income and client payments and used faked invoices to suppliers to pocket a total of £4,434,274. He covered his tracks by using colleagues’ computer log-in details and by transferring cash to family and friends.
Gareth Walters, prosecuting, said: “He made repeated attempts to conceal his behaviour, causing suspicion to fall on ex-colleagues and his ex-partner. Most of it was simply spent on gambling. He was placing bet after bet on almost every day of the year.”
Sentencing Childress to five years imprisonment, Recorder Miles Watkins commented: “You caused the spotlight of suspicion to fall on those who were innocent, no doubt to their enormous distress.
“There is a suggestion the offending was out of character but over the time these offences were committed it was a fundamental part of your character.
“That people are moved to say it was out of character suggests the deception goes wider than your employers and goes to members of your family and friends as well.”