Hartlepool man jailed for Â£40,000 fraud against employer
A fraudster who cheated his employer out of Â£40,000 to fund his drug addiction has been jailed.
John Simpson, from Hartlepool, was employed by Brooktherm Refrigeration in Birkenhead, Wirral, as parts co-ordinator until his dismissal for gross misconduct in on Christmas Eve 2014, after a falsified order he made was discovered.
When quizzed by police, Simpson, 36, of Hawthorne Walk, admitted to making the fraudulent order and obtaining the parts for his own personal needs and passing two invoices to their accounts department for £731.
A subsequent investigation by his employers uncovered a number of irregularities over a six-year period linked to invoices to a compressor firm, Comptec which had been supplying Brooktherm since 1996.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that Simpson worked with a co-accused, Gary Dangerfield, managing director of the Birmingham-based compressor firm, who raised inflated, duplicated or false invoices and presented them to Simpson who would authorise them for payment.
Once payment was received from Brooktherm, Dangerfield would keep a 20% cut of the money before giving the rest to Simpson.
Simpson told police he estimated £40,000 worth of fraudulent invoices were presented to Brooktherm over six years.
He admitted using cocaine for six years until Christmas 2014 and drinking excess alcohol most nights.
He accepted stealing from his employers to fund his drug use and to try to meet his debts.
Sentencing Simpson to 16 months in prison, Judge Robert Warnock told Simpson, “You were the driver of this offence and this was due to your addiction to abuse Class A drugs.”
Dangerfield, 54, of Chester Road, Stonewall, Walsall, was sentenced to 14 months prison suspended for two years.
He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and pay £800 court costs.
The court heard that has repaid Brooktherm £110,000 compensation.
He told police he was harassed by Simpson into raising a false invoice in the first place and then he was unable to stop himself.
Both men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud between January 2009 and January last year and Simpson also admitted a fraud charge relating to a £731 falsified invoice.
David Woods, mitigating, said that Simpson, had served in the Army between 1997 and 2001, was originally from the North East but had settled on Wirral. He has since moved back to the North East where he is in a relationship.