Charity begins at home
Charity Begins at Home
Terence (185–159 BC, from Andria)
By the standards of some of the cases I’ve covered, the sums involved in this case aren’t massive, but it is a real classic of its type and I’d wager a small bet that identical frauds are going on out there right now among charities, trusts, privately funded schools and similar organisations.
On 26 November 2010, I found myself squeezed in to the tiny public gallery of one of the smaller courts at Reading Crown Court as the judge considered sentence against the latest fraudster I’d been investigating and had a hand in bringing to justice. The judge gave him a two-year custodial sentence and made a Proceeds of Crime Act Order against him for the balance of the £49,000 for which he had pleaded guilty to fraud and theft for the criminal case.
I left the courtroom that day with a quiet smile and a certain amount of professional pride at the successful conclusion of my first investigation since leaving the Metropolitan Police Authority and deciding to branch out on my own. As is often the case, this fraud had been larger than the amounts entered for the criminal charges, but every item that he had been charged with by the police was watertight, hence his guilty plea and the saving on the cost of a full criminal trial.
Even the way information came to light at the start and during the case was another mini-classic of what happens in reality during a live real-time investigation. ...