The former head of finance at Equimedia – a digital marketing agency with a £20m turnover – has been jailed for fraud.
Appearing before Swindon Crown Court on Thursday (06/01), Nick Gray, 42, from Haydon End, Swindon was sentenced by Judge Jason Taylor QC to four years and nine months.
He had pleaded guilty just prior to the trial to Fraud by Abuse of Position and one count of failing to surrender.
The court had heard that Gray, who had worked for the Swindon-based company for 13 years, stole more than £53,000 to fund his already comfortable lifestyle.
An investigation revealed that Gray used the company credit card to pay for numerous items including clothing, watches, hotel accommodation and also to withdraw large amounts of cash from ATMs.
The theft took place over a period of three years, between 2014 and 2017, and mainly involved the fraudulent use of company credit cards.
Gray was able to use his financial expertise to obscure his unlawful behaviour – deliberately hiding payments within accounts, and using his understanding of auditing limits to prevent his deception being discovered.
The indirect loss to the company was calculated to be well over £500,000 due to the cost of the investigation and reconciling the accounts, increased insurance premiums incurred, and the subsequent loss of business.
DC Rachael Fairbairn said: “This was not a victimless crime. Gray’s selfish actions appear to have been motivated by greed, as he already had what can be described as a comfortable lifestyle. He was placed in a position of trust and responsibility but abused the faith that others had in him..
His actions not only had a significant impact on his colleagues and the company but also his own family.”
Further court proceedings will consider confiscation or compensation of assets.
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